Cultural differences and a kingdom fraying around the edges set the stage for a young prince who has just received the diagnosis of his life: leprosy. Prince Baldwin IV faces his new affliction with calm resolve, learning his duties as heir to the throne as a gentle healer tends his spreading disease. His training as leader of the army of Jerusalem is not neglected when the enemy of the kingdom, Saladin, sends his weapons master, Khair, to begin training the nine-year-old. The Christian Arab’s brother, Sulayman, is the assigned physician to the young prince.
Other royal advisors and leaders rise in the midst of turmoil to make a king from the strong but afflicted boy.
I can’t get over the amazing circumstances of the historical events during these days of the Crusades when Christians ruled the Holy Land. A leper king? Christian Arab brothers sent to aid the enemy’s heir to the throne? A man fighting alongside a man he once fought on the battlefield?
In spite of his rash temper and killing without thought, my favorite character in this story is Khair. He’s a warrior, yet possesses wisdom and understanding of political, social, even emotional issues. In all the ways that matter, to me, the real kingmaker is Khair.
But at the same time, I know who the true Kingmaker was in this story and for all time.
If you enjoy historical fiction, and don’t mind some realistic battle scenes, The Last King of Legends: The Kingmakers, join the virtual Book Blitz this Saturday, December 3, 2011: Facebook Event Page.
I look forward to the next book in this series by Serafia Cross.