The word 'Crusades' has traditionally referred to the wars fought after the late eleventh century to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. Regan argues that they actually be-gan in the seventh century with the conquests of the Byzan-tine Empire by the Per-sians. In retaliation, the emperor Herac-lius used Christian propaganda to turn the war into the first crusade. Coincidentally, Heraclius's career was unfold-ing at the same time as that of the Muslim prophet Mohammed. No sooner had Heraclius overthrown the power of Persia and re-gained the Holy Land, than he lost it to the irresistibly strong Arabs. First Crusader is an entertaining and challenging rein-ter-pretation of the Crusades.