Roc, Oct 2003, 16.00, 384 pp.
On an Earth that never was but might have been, Richard the Lion-Hearted never died while battling for control of Jerusalem. He went on to defeat Saladin and with the help of his half-sister Sioned he took away the precious Seal of Solomon from Sinan, the old man of the mountain. He was crowned king of Jerusalem and for over a decade he has reigned over the city he has come to love.
Although he is reluctant to leave, Richard I is ready to return to England to thwart his brother's plan to take the throne. However, Sinan returns more powerful than ever, eager to take his revenge on everyone who opposed him a decade ago. He kidnaps Sioned's daughter, captures one of Richard's castles, and lays siege to another. Sioned and her husband the Sultan of Egypt persuades Richard that the only weapon that could defeat their enemy is the Ark if they can find it.
Change the output of one pivotal event in history the way Judith Tarr has so brilliantly done and the outcome is a world that is completely different than the history books. Richard is presented as a noble warrior king willing to heed the advice of the people he trust but the star of HOUSE OF WAR is his baseborn sister Sioned, a powerful mage who has the wisdom and courage of Boudacia and Cleopatra. Fans of alternate history and fantasy will love this enthralling novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner