This is a well-written historical novel with a focus on the military aspects of the Albigensian Crusade. Although the political issues and the social significance of Catharism are not ignored, that’s not what this is about. The central character is Simon de Monfort, and it’s more or less told from his point of view. This rather obscures some of the real nastiness, though it’s not glossed over – we do have heretics burned alive and showing real courage, but it’s not from their point of view – they are more or less ciphers. Lots of detail about medieval siege-craft, which was interesting but not really what I was after.