Against a detailed canvas of the 15th century, the religious struggle between East and West and its effect on trade and human life and emotions, is set the story of the wanderings of Dilkusha, a widowed queen of a great Khan in a lifetime search for her ""lord"" Sebastian, unfrocked Dominican friar, with whom she escaped across Asia. He puts her into a convent when her presence becomes too exciting for him. She finally finds him only to lose him to death. Lacking the simplicity of Messer Marco Polo this yet has a similar legendary appeal. Overlong -- wealth of detail should appeal to scholarly and historically minded, but plot needs tightening up. Nonetheless, it emerges a good story and an excellent picture of the times -- in Asia, Belgrade, Germany and Spain.