The best fictional account of the Crusades I have yet read. Perfectly fusing fact and fiction to create a wonderfully authentic realisation of the Middle Ages, whilst managing to retain and develop a modern audience's sympathy and interest. Obviously thoroughly steeped in the period, Eisner has also crafted a gripping and human story. Occasionally he does get bogged down in details, and he spends perhaps too much time on the early pre-Crusade scenes establishing character and setting, at the expense of later scenes. More exploration and development of the military conflicts themselves would have been welcome, but this is a minor caveat.
All in all a wonderful read, ranking alongside the greats of historical fiction. Fascinating, gripping and ultimately deeply moving, this is as close to the total reading experience as you can get.