This novel picks up where the previous one finished and as such doesn't contain a massive time delay between the events that unfolded and as such give the reader the opportunity to understand, perhaps a little clearer, the turbulent times in which our ancestors lived. However if your a new reader you dont have to have read the characters past excursions as each novel is self contained. As such it adds few complications that will leave you wondering as to what the hell happened and what have I missed as this doesnt make any sense.
As I discovered in the previous novel the tale is crisp, exciting and action packed and never leaves a dull moment in the whole of the book. If you love Cornwell then this is definitely an author to add to your shelves and will be one that you read time after time, more for enjoyment than anything else, but also to build your excitement for the next installment.