The period from about 800 AD to 1100 AD when so much happened is sadly overlooked in mainstream history education. This book filled that gap for me. The story is told along threads that naturally move forward in time. A change of thread therefore leads to a return in time. I did not find this confusing, but I can understand that some readers may. So much happened around the year 1000, when Europe came out of the dark ages, our western cilivisation chose one road, but could have chosen another, way back then. Chistianity had Canossa and that did all the difference. The book is so filled with facts, I found myself wondering how much submerged the author must have been in the facts of the time when he wrote the book. It shows that the author thinks the story is important and that enthusiasm is contagious. The story is perhaps also important for our time. I loved this book and recommend it to anyone who sincerely wants to bring light to his knowledge of this important time and events.