This was a recommended read by a historian friend. I will admit, I only knew the very basics of the crusades before reading this and as well as the main characters with the story.
To start with I found the pace too slow for a book of fiction, however about third in I found I had fallen in love with the story.
The story is the Christian view of the first crusade leads by Richard I the Lionheart.
The politics and character were very well rounded the places that the went to were real in the minds eyes through the f=great description. The battles were realistic without being gory. The sea voyages felt as if you were on board.
The characters were vivid and well drawn. And as I finished them I felt I knew the main characters who had accompanied me on my commute the last 3 weeks.
As the accuracy of the history I feel I can not comment as it is not an area I am intimate with. However I at least understand who was related to whom who was married to who and who hated whom.
I suppose if this is your area of expertise you may be more critical of this book, but for someone who was unfamiliar with the people events and period I feel that I have a better understanding hand had a good romp along the way. Highly recommended for novices of this period great escapism and window in to world ruled by what happens in the after life.
PS I think I may just have fallen a little in love with Richard I.