After reading The Long Halloween, I decided to give Batman: Death and the Maidens a try (I have one more Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale book left, and kind of wanted to save it. Plus this is shorter than Dark Victory).
Reading the introduction to Death and the Maidens, I became quite excited. This was, according to the editor Matt Idelson, Greg Rucka's best work. Having no experience with Greg Rucka's work, I was prepared to be amazed. Unfortunately, I was not amazed.
As you can tell from the cover, Death and the Maidens deals with Ra's Al-Ghul. I don't know a lot of the history of him, but he is a bit more supernatural than I like my Batman villians to be (with the Lazarus Pits and him being centuries old and all). So when we are immediately introduced to a hitherto unknown daughter of his, Nyssa, and her back story gets spliced into the action of the main story, I had a bit of a hard time. The problem was both little knowledge on Ra's and company, but also I didn't really care what was going on.
The main idea is that Nyssa is completely against her father, wanting him dead. And Ra's is dying, having been deprived of his Lazarus Pits by Batman (I think). So Ra's visits Batman with a desperate deal: he will trade Batman a drink that will allow him to communicate with his dead parents in exchange for a working Lazarus Pit. Meanwhile Nyssa is busy kidnapping her sister Talia and plotting the murders of both her father and Superman. (As a side note, Superman has an awesome and completely unexpected moment in this story).
One of the main problems with this story was one pointed out by Craig Johnson on Comics Bulletin: Batman is like a side character in this story. Even the whole plot with his parents seems completely unnecessary.
So overall, I wasn't really fond of this graphic novel. The story was just okay, nothing special. I'd pass this up in favour of something like The Long Halloween or Knightfall pt 1.