An excellent and visually splendid historical account of Islamic empire. We were looking for some background on the Sunni/Shiite conflicts in the middle east, and it provides some of that. It clearly tries to present Islam in a good light, and the atrocities and brutalities inevitably involved in the building of empires are glossed over. It also tries hard to highlight instances of Islamic harmony with Christianity. The agenda is not terribly hidden, and there was plenty for me to absorb with the perspective being presented in mind.