It is the time of the Crusades during the Dark Ages- the world shaping 200-year collision between Europe and the East. Ablacksmith named Balian has lost his family and nearly his faith. Thereligious wars raging in the far-off Holy Land seem remote to him, yethe is pulled into that immense drama. Amid the pageantry and intriguesof medieval Jerusalem he falls in love, grows into a leader, andultimately uses all his courage and skill to defend the city againststaggering odds. Destiny comes seeking Balian in the form of a greatknight, Godfrey of Ibelin, a Crusader briefly home to France fromfighting in the East. Revealing himself as Balian's father, Godfreyshows him the true meaning of knighthood and takes him on a journeyacross continents to the fabled Holy City. In Jerusalem at thatmoment--between the Second and Third Crusades--a fragile peaceprevails, through the efforts of its enlightened Christian king,Baldwin IV, aided by his advisor Tiberias, and the military restraintof the legendary Muslim leader Saladin. But Baldwin's days arenumbered, and strains of fanaticism, greed, and jealousy among theCrusaders threaten to shatter the truce. King Baldwin's vision ofpeace--a kingdom of heaven--is shared by a handful of knights,including Godfrey of Ibelin, who swear to uphold it with their livesand honor. As Godfrey passes his sword to his son, he also passes onthat sacred oath: to protect the helpless, safeguard the peace, andwork toward harmony between religions and cultures, so that a kingdomof heaven can flourish on earth. Balian takes the sword and steps intohistory.