Author's Comment: Beyond the book's adventure and suspense aspects, I was determined that the periods that Sam travels to be as accurate as possible. Not just movie backdrops, but real moments of history. The illuminated manuscript that Sam manages to save from the Viking invasion (on the Island of Iona, around 800 A.D.) really exists. Likewise, Corporal Chartrel, whom Sam helps during the battle of Verdun, really was wounded in the way I describe. The strike of the workers of Thebes that Sam joins actually happened. And each time, these are central plot elements. Tightly linking history and fiction was at the heart of this project! As for actual research, I suppose I'm only doing my job, if not as a historian, at least as a history teacher. That's a job enriched by my own taste for traveling: I have thoroughly enjoyed wandering around Iona and Bruges, in particular.