"The Fifth Knight" was my introduction to this author's work and I am very much looking forward to new novels in the series. From the first scene (yes, I say scene because it reads so much like a treatment for a film or TV serial), she makes the characters matter to you. I may even have fallen a little in love with the hero as he battled sea-sickness in chapter one!
The historical detail is clearly well researched but does not distance you from the action. The author uses some of the language of the time, but never where it would need lengthy explanation. She shows the same restraint with the religious details, although she finds ways to open up ways of thinking and behaving that are very alien to a modern reader. Consequently, the action and dialogue flow naturally and draw us into 12th century lives as if they ran alongside our own.
The action moves quickly from episode to episode, dropping hints at future possibilities and keeping us intrigued as to what might happen next. Is this due to the novel's origin as a serial? Perhaps, but I am grateful for it, as it left me unable to put it down. Reading this book on the train, I came to resent the shortness of my commute to work.