(From the publisher):
Set in the twelfth century against the backdrop of the Crusades and during the brief yet glittering rule of the Norman kings, The Ruby in Her Navel opens in a Sicilian society in which Latin and Greek, Arab and Jew lived together in harmony. The novel tells the story of how the war between Islam and Christendom impinges on the mind and heart of Thurstan Beauchamp, a young Norman and would-be Knight at the Court of King Roger in Palermo.
Known for his loyalty but divided between the ideals of chivalry and the harsh political realities of his tumultuous times, Thurstan is dispatched to uncover the conspiracies brewing against his king. During his journeys, he encounters the woman he loved as a youth, Lady Alicia, now returned a widow from the Holy Land; at the same time, he is gripped by the earthy sensuality of the dancer, Nesrin, whose troupe he brings to the Court to dance for the king. In a compelling tale of love, passion, intrigue, and treachery, Thurstan finds himself caught in a tangle of plots, counter-plots, and deceptions, which force him to question the nature of his ambition and the folly of uncritical reverence for authority.
Original title: The Ruby in Her Navel
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ European→ Medieval