This is a book that thwarts any attempt at definition. It is certainly not a simple travelogue, nor is it quite a history book. It might be a concealed attempt to write about theology, or theocracy, but there is too much of the author in it for that, and far too much history.
It ostensibly sets out to retrace the steps of one Thorvald, an Icelandic convert to Christianity who travelled from his own land to Jerusalem in the eleventh century. In truth, however, we lose sight of him early on in the narrative, and follow instead the fortunes of various contemporary bishops,