Oddly enough, Gore Vidal- The City and the Pillar, The Season of Comfort, etc. has come up with something of an historical novel. Running from the fall of 1192 to the spring of 1194, from Palestine to Austria to France to England, this is a skillful blending of fact and fantasy during the Crusades. Having to do chiefly with King Richard the Lion-Hearted and his troubadour, Blondel of Neel, it courses its way through most of Europe on a sort of lonely but grand pilgrimage, meeting up with dragons, giants, werewolves, vampires, enchanted forests, and enemy knights against whom they duel. Richard is captured, which creates a political crisis, and Blondel searches for him, during which he has many a glorious and terrifying adventure. It is a time of strong-armed, virile men, vapid women,- a time of unrest and insecurity for most, the church included. It is well written, mildly exciting and has excellent atmosphere.