- Did the novel inspire me to further historical research?
Yes. Many of these historical events were relatively unexplored by by historical reading, so the novel opened up some new vistas. Score = 4
- Did the novel include enough history to make it an interesting historical story?
Definitely. As noted above, Roberts' clever plot manages to bind many geographically remote historical events into one story. Score = 4
- Was the depiction of historical events accurate?
Pretty much. As with virtually all historical novels, there's a certain amount of exaggeration for dramatic effect. I found no outright fabrications or willful distortions. Score = 4
- Was the depiction of historical characters accurate?
Characters are always more subject to the novelist's manipulation than events. Roberts, as noted in the opening section above, uses that sort of artistic license to fit characters into his good vs. evil sort of historical outlook. He did plenty of research, however, and included a brief list of sources at the end - always a plus in my scoring system. Score = 4
- Would I read another novel by this author, continuing in this historical period, with these characters (or new ones)?
Unfortunately, I've just about reached the end of Roberts' novels, and he won't be writing any new ones. I wish there were more. Score = 4.