Emperor Frederick II has re-established Christian control of Jerusalem, but the Sultan brags that he will "purify" the Holy City and drive the Christians out as soon as the ten-year truce expires. The common people of the Holy Land show their contempt for the Emperor by pelting him with offal, while the barons resist Frederick's absolutism and demand rule of law. Filled with resentment and bitterness, the Emperor vows to destroy the family that embodies the independent spirit of Outremer: the Ibelins. The Emperor's minions will stop at nothing, and Balian's marriage soon becomes a spiritual weapon turned against his father.
"Schrader’s prose manages to summon the culture and time period of the Crusader states while remaining light and readable...."
"From central actors to more minor characters, each individual has a depth that will leave readers highly invested in the story’s outcome.”
"Schrader imagines a rich and intricate novelistic universe in which historical fact blends with fiction to create a compelling narrative. Set against the backdrop of the Christian struggle to retain the Kingdom of Jerusalem in the early 13th century, the novel offers both an engaging and informative read.”
“Schrader’s detailed rendering of the ill-fated first marriage of Bailin, d’Ibelin’s eldest son to Eschiva de Montbéliard, a cousin by marriage, will capture readers hearts."
" ...the reader can almost smell the offal and blood, feel the pain of wounds, the effects of hunger, hardship, and fear, the taste of stale bread and sullied water, and the bittersweet taste of victory."
"The author is brilliant in her writing and ... continues to offer the most exciting historical series that mesmerizes the reader."