The structure of the book is broadly chronological. It is broken down into seven main sections, starting with the birth of monarchy in the ancient Middle East and ending with coverage of modern royal houses and ruling dynasties stretching through the 20th century and on up to the present day. The core of each section is a series of profiles of the most significant rulers of each particular era, each one of whom has been carefully selected because of his or her influence on the pattern of historical events. It is these events that provide the impetus for the maps that play an equally significant part in the overall structure.
This book is a fascinating and comprehensive exploration of the dynasties and rulers who have shaped our world. History is not created in a vacuum. It is a living entity, to which no one has contributed more than leading kings and queens of the distant and not-so-distant past. Their achievements not only shaped the times in which they reigned, but also, for good or ill, have had an enduring impact on the world we live in today.