I live in the region of the Cathars and purchased this book to help me understand the history and background to the conflict. I found it very good on facts and chronology but a little short on background information and "painting the picture" It did give me an insight into the relationship between the "occitaines" and the northern french which persists today. It was helpful, well written and informative but a tad short on creating a feel for the period and the author did not delve too deeply in to the physche of the main players. A learned work rather than a ripping yard. Perhaps this reviewer should try a historical novel of the period rather than criticise this book too vigorously?