7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 25 December 2008
This title gives some background to the power politics in the build-up to the battle of Hattin and the subsequent loss of Jerusalem.
The background and motivation of pivotal characters such as Baldwin IV, Saladin, Reynald de Chatillon, Raymond of Tripoli and Gerard de Ridfort are covered.
I found the author's treatment of Saladin to be more grounded. As opposed to the glowing portrayal in Amin Maalouf's title: The crusades through Arab eyes or Ridley Scott's movie 'Kingdom of Heaven'.
I haven't given this title five stars for two reasons: first, maps for the battles would have been a great visual aid, especially for the battle of Hattin. Secondly, the author occasionally digresses to introduce a related subject to whatever is being covered at the time. While this is not a problem in itself, it sometimes disrupts the flow of the narrative and also led to some repetition.
All said and done, still an informative and good read!