Thanks for the recommendation, I am going to check those books out. I like David Ball a lot too, "Sword and Scimitar" and "Empires of Sand" are brilliant books. However, the best historical fiction novel I have ever read is "Die Brücke von Alcantara" (The Bridge of Alcantara) by German author Frank Baer. It is a real shame that the book has never received the attention it deserves, AFAIK it hasn't been translated into any other language either. At least your German speaking readers might want to give that book a try.