It goes like this. Islam is far better than Christianity (despite their constant capturing of slaves) and is benevolent to Christians and Jews. However, Christianity is evil and the only good Christians are those who are not really religious. This leads to rather flat caricatures in most supporting roles. The novel ends up being much about a love story and a sundered family (to give points of view on both sides of the siege).
Still, it never overcomes it's modernist politically correct viewpoints that are laughable to anyone with a pretty good knowledge of the true history of the crusades.
One is led to believe that this story is about the Knights of Malta and their battle. Yet, the story is mostly about characters other than Knights. It is very misleading.
The author depicting every religious figure, most especially the Christian ones as a power hungry, morally depraved, or cowardly.
I wish Mr Guidall didn't change his voice as the characters changed. To hear a grown man attempt to sound like a child or particularly a young girl distracted from the content and I reacted with embarrassment for him in how silly it sounded. The children and women in the story were to be admired and deserved empathy, but the narration made them sound like imbeciles. I'm still interested in the story, but will get the written book instead.
Yes. History told balanced with fictional and entertaining characters
The build up and the development of the characters were great, however, their influence on the finale failed a bit. I think that keeps this book from becoming an all time classic.
The history is great. There's good character development, the reading is adequate, the book is generally well written... Yet, the majority of the book is spent focusing on making life as miserable as possible for the protagonists you care about. Imagine your sister being raped then locked in a dungeon. Now imagine reading a story about it. You would have to be a psychopath to enjoy it, and that is what this book is like.