First - this is a gorgeous book. Generously and fabulously illustrated, at least half the pages are eye candy.
Second - it's really well researched, although it does lack a citation / notes section at the end, an unfortunate oversight.
Also unfortunate is the writing. It's dry. So, so dry. Think academic history text dry. If I had to guess, I'd say it's a case of severe editing; trying to pack huge chunks of history into small 1-2 page sections. The result is a litany of names and dates guaranteed to make the most interested eyes droop.
Luckily, the illustrations go a long way towards perking up a reader's attention.