Another Biesty marvel, the pages thronging with detail and color, bursting at the seams from all the information per square inch, and filled with wonderful oddities secreted in the illustrations (don't miss the prisoner left to rot in the fittingly named ""forget-me-not""). Platt (Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections: Man-O-War, 1993, etc.) does a good job of explaining the particulars, for it is in the minutiae that this book excels; if you take a step back in order to get a look at the big picture, you will be disappointed. More troubling is the coldness of the book: It is hard to identify with anyone in the castle, hard to get a sense of what they are all about, or what a siege is for, mostly because the castle is never placed in any sort of context. The castle is laid bare, yes, but there is an inertness to it, like a frog on a dissecting table. Technically a gem, but not nearly as satisfying as Macaulay's Castle.