This is my first Dan Jones book, and I really enjoyed it. It is a very readable account of the thousand years of history between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the discovery of the New World. He frequently ties aspects of the Middle Ages both backwards into the Roman empire that preceded it, and forward into the present day, showing how medieval developments continue to play an important role in our modern world.

One brief example – he notes the enormous significance of both the development of the printing press and of the Protestant Reformation, but ties the two together in an unexpected way. In fact, it was the development of movable type and the printing press that made possible the sheer scale of the sale of indulgences which in turn led to the Reformation. I had never heard that before. But the book is full of interesting observations like this.