The last decade of the 13th century sees the Crusader city of Acre awaiting the final onslaught from an overwhelming Saracen army. Benedict, a 14-year-old orphan half-breed, is employed by William of Beaujeu, grand master of the Knights Templar, as a spy and deliverer of secret messages. Protected and at the same time exploited for his talents, the young man finds himself involved in a deadly game of intrigue, murder and survival where the greatest danger does not always come from the enemy.
The pace from the opening pages to the final satisfying end is unrelenting. Once started, I found this book difficult to put down. The plot is fast-paced and gripping, while the characters are well formed and credible. The siege and the events leading up to it form an exciting framework for this well-researched and atmospheric novel. The culture and politics of the region are effectively evoked, bringing this whole bloody period to life. This is historical writing at its best. A real pleasure to read. More please!