14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Usama's dashing tales of Muslim life after the First Crusade,
This review is from: The Book of Contemplation: Islam and the Crusades (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
This book is a very good read if you wish to get a feel for the Medieval Muslim perspective of the other side of the conflict and glimpses into the character of both the Muslim elites and snippets of the attitudes and behaviour of Frankish persons of note. Usamah's style of writing is in short tales on subject matter ranging from the conduct of Frankish knights, descriptions of raids (from both sides), to dashing tales of daring with colourful charcters and villians spread throughout.
The beauty of this book is that the tales often last no more than a page or so, thus it is ideal for a quick read, and thus can be enjoyed at your leisure. I myself am using this book for my History unit on the Crusades at university, where it is considered one of the best sources of the period. It is worth mentioning that Usamah himself is not always biased as a writer, at times he talks favourably of his interactions with the Knights Templar.
Overall this book allows the reader to peek through the key hole of time and have a look at how life was in this dramatic period, well worth the read.