Top critical review
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Heavily biased account
on 10 May 2018
While the book itself is very thorough, providing a huge amount of material is it very subjective. Asbridge is often critical of the Muslim forces, particularity Saladin. I don't mind him stating facts, however, I get a little cautious when modern historians speak of the intentions of the historical figures. How does Asbridge know? On numerous occasions, he states the reasons why Christian Kings/Dukes/Lords and Muslim 'Warloads' and Sultans did things.
Asbridge seems to have an axe to grind when it comes to Saladin, He goes out of his way state very clearly that Saladin wanted to massacre all residents of Jerusalem and only grudgingly and rather forcefully had to accept a blood-less surrender. On many occasions he refers to Saladin as conniving, deceiving and lying in order to gain power. While figures like Richard the Lionheart (who according to Asbridge outsmarts Saladin on every occasion) is portrayed as a saintly warrior King, who was not to blame for the disaster of the third crusade. He also gives the impression that Richard executed only Muslim soldiers after the siege of Acre, omitting any reference to women and children being executed as well, furthermore, he argues Richard was forced to do so.
Overall, it was a good book in its details, but heavily biased.