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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
34
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 24 May 2017
Good.
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on 7 April 2017
A really good book well written.
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on 8 December 2015
Wow what an amazing man and what an emotional roller coaster journey reading this book is.
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on 22 May 2012
Brought this to do some research into the life of this great legend of Islamic history, but the author's style is not for the simple-minded like myself :) Opting for a more easy-to-follow book which doesn't assume I am a historian!
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on 18 June 2009
I'm pretty sure that a lot of people like me became interested in Saladin after watching Kingdom of Heaven. While there are quite a few books out there that are written about him, I chose this one because it had the most pages!

However, I am absolutely glad that I purchased this book. Like any good book that is a biography, the elements should not only consist of what the candidate had done in their life but, more importantly, how the situation at their time puts into context the significance of their achievements.

You'll appreciate how Saladin was 'destined' to achieve what he had, by reading about his genealogy and how the events of his family helped direct Saladins' life. The book then goes into great detail about Saladins' political life, and when coming towards the end of his life, how he was truly loved by everyone - friends as well as his enemies.

The author uses simple language that never compromises on detail: this is the definitive book on Saladin, the Hero of Islam.
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on 27 August 2011
After years of popular literature and movies that romanticise the Templar Knights and the crusades in general, I wanted to get a more detailed look at the man who ended the era. Whereas most books about the crusades will briefly talk about Saladin, and most will acknowledge the fact that he often showed mercy when his enemy slaughtered their victims, few touch on the huge obstacles he had to overcome to even get in the position as the leader of Islam.

This book does a great job at describing a man who had to fight very hard to achieve greatness. But apart from charting his rise, it also exposes some of his weaknesses; Saladin like all of us wasn't perfect, and this biography doesn't attempt to hide it.

I have read several books on this era now, and while the many unfamiliar titles and names sometimes made it a little hard to follow (hardly the fault of the book!), I thoughroly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone interested in the Crusades or the Middle East in general.
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on 15 August 2008
most biographies are bought for reference rather than read for pleasure. This one fits into the second category as well as the first.
Highly readable, well researched, an exceptionally good overview of the life and indeed the times of one of the greatest leaders of Islam, one known and admired in the West as much as in his own land.
Highly recommended.
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on 13 July 2015
A like-new copy of this book was delivered well within a week of my ordering it. A fascinating man, a very good writer.....looking forward to reading this one! Thank you very much.
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on 13 August 2013
My interests in the religious crusades jointly with my enthusiasm for biographies let me to this book. The first book I have read on a significant person of the Muslim belief, and what an imposing person he was!

There is a reason why Saladin or rather Salah-ad-Din is so well known in the western world, he was an exceptional commander on the battlefield, had great political skills and that combined with his moral values gave an interesting opponent to the Western/Catholic world. Because, let there be no mistake, he wanted to crush the Catholic system and spread the Muslim belief.

Reading the book itself wasn't always easy considering the fact that you come across many Arabic names which are sometimes hard to seperate from each other. If the reader has an interest in history and more specific to this period in time it would be of great benefit. But then again it's not a necessity.

About the writer: Geoffrey Hindley has written a number of books on the medieval times, of which most are found here on Amazon.co.uk and other sites.

In other words, the content of the book is reliable and you will gather a lot of knowledge from it, with only two hundred pages it's the ideal introduction into the crusades from the Arabic point of view.
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on 15 December 2010
The book provides an excellent narrative of the life and military expeditions of this great general and warrior. I strongly recommend it to anyone who wishes to know more about this man and the politics of that era and time.
However the only downside is that sometimes the narrative can get a bit confusing as you have to juggle with numerous characters at one time and there is no glossary page at the beginning or end of the book detailing who each of the main characters are but once you've got your head around who's who then its a good read. Another thing the author failed to mention is the way Saladin cleansed the city of Jerusalem with rose water when he captured it in 1187 in stark contrast to the crusaders upon their entry to the city in 1099 where they massacred thousands of the city's inhabitants to the extent that the blood flowed in the city. Its a minor detail i know but still its a nice thing to have mentioned. But all in all a great read.
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