Author gives an intriguing spin to a fascinating and horrible period of history. The old Byzantine Empire is struggling but has not yet had its heart ripped out by the fourth crusade. Richard is the master of battle but is also a master of gratuitous violence. And the misnamed King of Jerusalem (because the crusader states had lost that city) is dead leaving no clear heir and too many claimants. But THE WIDOW OF JERUSALEM is not merely interesting as a historical view. Gordon makes the characters, including the historical nobility and the fictional jesters and servants, come alive. The mysterious death of a young woman propells Theophilos and Scarlet's band of trainee fools into an intrigue that will alter the control of this land, and the hearts of many.
THE WIDOW OF JERUSALEM is written as a recounting of a story by Theophilos to his wife Claudia. Although this style tends to distance the reader from the story, in this case, it worked, allowing Gordon to introduce occasional side-notes of levity into the telling. Fans of historical fiction who have yet to make the acquaintence of Theophilos and the Jester's Guild will definitely want to do so. Gordon fans will be overjoyed to see Theophilos and Claudia in action yet again.
Readers will be amazed by what the Fools can accomplish as spies working behind the scene to maneuver political events. Theophilus is a fascinating character who operates on different levels with different people. His skills as an entertainer enable him to spy on the nobles when they are plotting something because they underestimate the intelligence of a Fool. THE WIDOW OF JERUSALEM is a fascinating look at the various players who have a pivotal role in the Third Crusade.
Title: The Widow of Jerusalem (Fools' Guild)