My knowledge of the crusades are very limited except the fact that Muslim and Christians fought for their holy land of Jerusalem, so everything in this book is quite new to me.
As the first book of the trilogy, this book ended with many questions unanswered and many events that need to be wrap up. This is the introduction of a larger picture, as a fellow whose interest lays in history, I wish to read more of this series. The society of the Knight Templar amazed me, people who gave up everything for their faith. We don't have people like that anymore.
The characters are interesting and realistic, Will's wish to please his father to amend his fault and Garin's flaw and cowardice that leads to his betrayal. However, though both of them serve as the two main characters in the novel, my favorite so far is Will's deceased father, James Campbell.
James Campbell is the decedent from a family of knights, therefore is no surprise that he also gave up his normal life and join the Knights Templar. He, then, joined Anima Templi and work for their cause of peace. To combine the three religions of Muslim, Jew and Christan.
As the stronghold of Safed has fallen, James and a band of Knights were given a chance. They will be speared if they abandon their faith and convert to Muslim. James and his brother-in-arms decline and were beheaded (which is to be put on a stick outside of the city). This act of bravery which Will were unable to do in Antioch when Antioch was fallen, make James a higher character than his son.