The Scorpion and the Knight
by George E. Garner

"She was trouble; he sensed from the start and he was far from happy."

Jesus told his disciples that if they had faith the size of a mustard seed, they'd be able to move mountains. Undeniably, faith is a powerful force. The Crusades, one of the most well-known religious conflicts in history, are a testament to what faith can drive people to do. The Scorpion and the Knight is story that takes place in-between the Fourth and Fifth Crusades and is seen through the eyes of multiple people affected by its reach.

Garner weaves a story that seamlessly transports the reader back time. With the author's attention for details, the reader doesn't need to have a history background to know what it was like to live in a fishing village on the outskirts of Venice, to stake-out in the desert, or understand the various colloquial terms that Europeans and Near-Eastern people used to address each other.

Various point of views create challenging transitions. For example, the reader is introduced to Richard, who works in intelligence within the King's army. He's on an urgent mission to escort back a messenger with important news to the King. Next, the reader becomes familiar with Luca, a shrewd Machiavellian merchant who will use any means to have his grandson return home from the Crusades. This includes a rather lengthy, albeit interesting, background on his rise to power within Venice. By the time the reader is back to Richard's perspective, it takes a moment to remember what was happening with him. Despite this, the story contains a balanced mix of world building and suspense that will appeal to a wide audience. Garner creates a believable world, and sets the stage for the conflicts that arrive later in the story, making history enjoyable and educational.

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