Rus' is traditionally seen as part of Ukrainian or Russian history, and rarely part of medieval European history. This work focuses on two well-known Rusian rulers, King Izyaslav and Queen Gertrude, and situates them in a larger medieval context. Their story progresses from their dynastic marriage, as part of an agreement between the rulers of Rus' and Poland; to their rule in Rus', including the power that Gertrude and Rusian women were able to wield and their cultural contributions; to their travels in Europe during exile, including to Gertrude's family in Poland and the German Empire, as well as to the pope himself; and, finally, their ultimate fates and their impact on their descendants.

Through Izyaslav and Gertrude, readers will see the Rusian royalty as not an eastern Other, but part of the broader complex of medieval European royalty.