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When nine-year-old Rob Cole felt the life force slipping from his mother’s hand he could not foresee that this terrifying awareness of impending death was a gift that would lead him from the familiar life of 11th-century London to small villages throughout England and finally to the medical school at Ispahan. Though apprenticed to an itinerant barber surgeon (Stellan Skarsgaard), it is the dazzling surgery of a Jewish physician trained by the legendary Persian physician Ibn Sina (Ben Kingsley) that inspires him to accept his gift and to commit his life to healing by studying at Ibn Sina’s school. Despite the ban on Christian students, Rob goes there, disguising himself as a Jew to gain admission. Gordon has written an adventurous and inspiring tale of a quest for medical knowledge pursued in a violent world full of superstition and prejudice.