Stephen R. Lawhead was born on July 2, 1950 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, NE. His parents are Robert Eugene and Lois Rowena Bissell Lawhead. His life and career appear to be a patchwork of events, ranging from hanging drapes to managing the Degarmo & Key band. His writing career began in about 1976 when he was asked to apply for a job as an editorial assistant for Campus Life magazine. He has lived in both the U.S. and England, and he has been to Oxford many times in research for his books.

I like Stephen Lawhead for his ability to tell a story. When I read his books, I can put myself there in the scenes; I could be fighting alongside one of the major heroes, or walking down a dusty road, depending on where the author is going with the story. J.R.R. Tolkien books have the ability to do this for me at times, and C. S. Lewis books can do the same, but Stephen Lawhead seems to be able to keep my focus actually inside the story. Many of his books that my family owns are bent out of shape from the accidental mangling they received at my hands; when I am that into a book, I don't even notice the shape of the book itself.

One of the first books of his that I read was The Warlords of Nin. There is an entire chapter of this book devoted to blacksmithy, the making of a sword for the hero. At this point in my life, I thought that swords were cool, and the idea that someone could take raw metal and work it with only hand-powered tools into a sword was way cool. From this point, I began to look up swords at random times (when I wasn't working on a math project). For my senior project in high school, I thought I would make a sword. It turned out that I simply made a forge and a few primitive metal objects. I went back to this book several times for ideas, because actual blacksmithy was discussed in that chapter. I eventually studied a little about Japanese samurai swords, but my studies didn't get me very far as I was too focused on mathematics.

His works generally fall into the Celtic and Medieval fiction genre, with some science fiction thrown in. Here are his major works grouped by series:

The Dragon King Trilogy (medieval fiction)

The Empyrion Cycle (science fiction)

The Pendragon Cycle (Arthur legend fiction)

The Song of Albion (celtic fiction)

The Celtic Crusades

Random Books

All books published by Zondervan (for the U.S.; other publishers in other countries).


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