The novel has the flavor of Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth, but with a deeper character development and story arc. The narrative is fast-paced, one engrossing scene unfolding into another, revealing yet another adventure, danger or discovery. The intensity of Rob's desire to unearth the secrets of healing is admirable and the portrayal of Bagdad and Persia as the center of advanced medicine is intriguing. It was interesting to see the comparison between the crude monastic treatments practiced in Europe which relied heavily on bleeding versus those practiced by the famed Avicenna in Persia where illnesses were scientifically studied and complex surgeries such as cataract removal were performed. Vivid descriptions permeate throughout the book such that one gets the feeling of actually being in the dusty streets of ancient Isfahan skirting legless beggars and camel dung. An insightful and unforgettable read.
"A sinister cabal of superior writers."