California native Dario Sattui's passion for European architecture of the Middle Ages is only rivaled by his passion for fine wine. he's built a full-scale medieval castle on U.S. soil. It's a wine country wonder, and a magnificently delicious reason to visit California's Napa Valley.
There was a Golden Age to Islam once -- a Muslim Renaissance so magnificent, famous, cosmopolitan and cerebral that it's borders didn't always bleed. This era unequivocally produced some of the most enlightened thinkers throughout the Islamic Diaspora.
The mythos of the assassin fascinates even as it horrifies. It fascinates because it allows for the actions of one to bring down a corrupt or tyrannical regime that has no avenue of redress for those not in power.
Set in the same universe as that of her novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke's "The Ladies of Grace Adieu" stands on its own as a series of glittering dark tales that draw on the legends of northern Europe.