A landless knight,
a Byzantine princess
and a leper king—
The story of Balian d’Ibelin in the years before his fame.
The historical Balian d’Ibelin saved thousands of women and children from slavery and brokered peace between Richard I and Saladin. Arab chronicles described him as “like a king,” and his descendants dominated the history of the Holy Land for the next century. Yet he inherited neither land nor titles and we know nothing of his youth. What made him the man he would become?
In this comprehensive revision of the first book in the Jerusalem Trilogy, Schrader evokes the underlying currents and powerful personalities that shaped the history of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. She weaves history with hypotheses to create a credible, if fictional, backstory for a hero: Balian d’Ibelin.