"The Talisman" is one of Scott's most popular novels, filled with colour, mystery, plot and counter-plot. He wrote it in 1824-25 when his personal finances were in peril. The novel is the second, and his best, in the Tales of the Crusaders series.
"The Talisman" is a tale of the Crusades, set in 1190 and beginning when there was a truce between the Saracens and King Richard the Lionheart. As with many another historical novel, Scott takes liberties with the historical record, and probably with his depictions of Arab culture too.