This was my first take with the Crusades. There were some amazing threads throughout the book, such as Miriam and Morgan. The passion and danger they experienced was very well done. I have never been a battle and military strategy type of girl but Penman has an amazing ability to not only help you understand the tactics and players but also explains it so well in her writing that you not only get it, but also really care. Unfortunately I didnt connect as strongly with Richard and his bride, Berengaria. It might be that this was because there really wasn't a period where the two of them spent any significant time together. Perhaps if I knew more about Richard's earlier life I could have attached myself to him more. Eleanor of Aquitaine will always be my hero, stunning and strong, she was a woman way ahead of her time. How she managed to have such beautiful but destructive children is endlessly fascinating to me.
I want to know more about Phillipe, Henri and Isabella. Penman gives a fantastic introduction to each and really brings them to life. My time will be spent looking for a deeper insight into these major players. I also found the role of the Templars another area I want to know more about. Lots to absorb in an amazing narrative. Looking forward to the sequel.