Alamut - Judith Tarr At the time of the Crusades, a half-human Christian knight named Aidan travels to the Holy Land to see his nephew; his nephew, more mortal, has just been killed in his sleep by a female Assassin named Morgiana. She, it turns out, is also more than human, and eventually the two are fated (as Cole Porter would put it) to be mated. In the meantime, though, Aidan has a brief affair with Joanna, step-daughter to his late nephew and a married woman. By the end of the book, Joanna is bearing his child, but has returned to her husband. (We are clearly being set up for a sequel here). Aidan, meanwhile, has been kidnapped by Morgiana, and has made a bargain with her: he will "satisfy" her if in turn she helps him take revenge on her former master, who ordered the killing of his nephew (and his nephew's son). Naturally, in Morgiana's view, it takes more than one night, however swoony, to satisfy, and she turns up very publicly just as Aidan is swearing his oath of allegiance to the (Christian) King of Jerusalem, and claims him in marriage. All this is wrapped up in some rather good story-telling and some rather impressive local historical detail; half fantasy/half historical, and rather fun. In contrast to the only other Tarr I've read (A Fall of Princes), there's relatively little in the way of homoerotic overtones in this book. [These notes were made in 1991:].