"The second of Tales of the Crusaders, The Talisman is set in Palestine during the Third Crusade (1189-92). Scott constructs a story of chivalric action, apparently adopting a view of the similarities in the values of both sides that is to be found in medieval romance. But disguise is the leading theme of the tale: characters frequently wear clothing that conceals their identity, and professions and cultures hide their true nature. In this novel the Christian leaders are divided by a factious criminality, and are contrasted to the magnanimity and decisiveness of Saladin, the leader of the Islamic armies. In a period when the west was fascinated with the exotic east, Scott represents the Muslim other as more humane than the Christian west." "The Talisman is one of Scott's great novels. It is a superb tale. It is also a bold departure as, for the first time, Scott explores cultural conflict in the opposition of two world religions." --Book Jacket.