Just finished The Golden Shrine, book #3 of The Opening of the World series by Harry Turtledove.
Not the best of Fantasy series, to be sure, but the core lessons are valid: a little love, good friends, and unyielding determination coupled with loyalty to the truth can overcome outwardly overwhelming odds. And leadership is not a right, but a duty, and those who fail to add up shall lead no more. Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.
Golden Shrine guide you Count Hamnet Thyssen, Ulric Skakki, Trasamund and Live of the Three Tusk Bizogots, Audun Gilli, Earl Eyvind Torfinn, and Marcovefa of the Glacier.