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Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Lands

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A major new history of the Crusades with an unprecedented wide scope, told in a tableau of portraits of people on all sides of the wars, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Templars. For more than one thousand years, Christians and Muslims lived side by side, sometimes at peace and sometimes at war. When Christian armies seized Jerusalem in 1099, they began the mos A major new history of the Crusades with an unprecedented wide scope, told in a tableau of portraits of people on all sides of the wars, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Templars. For more than one thousand years, Christians and Muslims lived side by side, sometimes at peace and sometimes at war. When Christian armies seized Jerusalem in 1099, they began the most notorious period of conflict between the two religions. Depending on who you ask, the fall of the holy city was either an inspiring legend or the greatest of horrors. In Crusaders, Dan Jones interrogates the many sides of the larger story, charting a deeply human and avowedly pluralist path through the crusading era. Expanding the usual timeframe, Jones looks to the roots of Christian-Muslim relations in the eighth century and tracks the influence of crusading to present day. He widens the geographical focus to far-flung regions home to so-called enemies of the Church, including Spain, North Africa, southern France, and the Baltic states. By telling intimate stories of individual journeys, Jones illuminates these centuries of war not only from the perspective of popes and kings, but from Arab-Sicilian poets, Byzantine princesses, Sunni scholars, Shi'ite viziers, Mamluk slave soldiers, Mongol chieftains, and barefoot friars. Crusading remains a rallying call to this day, but its role in the popular imagination ignores the cooperation and complicated coexistence that were just as much a feature of the period as warfare. The age-old relationships between faith, conquest, wealth, power, and trade meant that crusading was not only about fighting for the glory of God, but also, among other earthly reasons, about gold. In this richly dramatic narrative that gives voice to sources usually pushed to the margins, Dan Jones has written an authoritative survey of the holy wars with global scope and human focus.


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A major new history of the Crusades with an unprecedented wide scope, told in a tableau of portraits of people on all sides of the wars, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Templars. For more than one thousand years, Christians and Muslims lived side by side, sometimes at peace and sometimes at war. When Christian armies seized Jerusalem in 1099, they began the mos A major new history of the Crusades with an unprecedented wide scope, told in a tableau of portraits of people on all sides of the wars, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Templars. For more than one thousand years, Christians and Muslims lived side by side, sometimes at peace and sometimes at war. When Christian armies seized Jerusalem in 1099, they began the most notorious period of conflict between the two religions. Depending on who you ask, the fall of the holy city was either an inspiring legend or the greatest of horrors. In Crusaders, Dan Jones interrogates the many sides of the larger story, charting a deeply human and avowedly pluralist path through the crusading era. Expanding the usual timeframe, Jones looks to the roots of Christian-Muslim relations in the eighth century and tracks the influence of crusading to present day. He widens the geographical focus to far-flung regions home to so-called enemies of the Church, including Spain, North Africa, southern France, and the Baltic states. By telling intimate stories of individual journeys, Jones illuminates these centuries of war not only from the perspective of popes and kings, but from Arab-Sicilian poets, Byzantine princesses, Sunni scholars, Shi'ite viziers, Mamluk slave soldiers, Mongol chieftains, and barefoot friars. Crusading remains a rallying call to this day, but its role in the popular imagination ignores the cooperation and complicated coexistence that were just as much a feature of the period as warfare. The age-old relationships between faith, conquest, wealth, power, and trade meant that crusading was not only about fighting for the glory of God, but also, among other earthly reasons, about gold. In this richly dramatic narrative that gives voice to sources usually pushed to the margins, Dan Jones has written an authoritative survey of the holy wars with global scope and human focus.

30 review for Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Lands

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”Christ may have abhorred violence, but warfare, killing, bloodshed and even genocide nevertheless remained familiar parts of Christian exegesis.” In 1095, Pope Urban II received a summons from Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, asking for help with removing Muslim Seljuk Turks from his lands. In a speech later that year at the Council of Clermont, he demanded the Christians of the West to wrest the Holy Land from the barbarian Turks. The volunteer response to his request was good, but it sure ”Christ may have abhorred violence, but warfare, killing, bloodshed and even genocide nevertheless remained familiar parts of Christian exegesis.” In 1095, Pope Urban II received a summons from Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, asking for help with removing Muslim Seljuk Turks from his lands. In a speech later that year at the Council of Clermont, he demanded the Christians of the West to wrest the Holy Land from the barbarian Turks. The volunteer response to his request was good, but it sure became more fervent when the Pope added further enticement by saying that an oath to take the cross and go to the Holy Land to fight would also include a remission of sins. As it turned out, there were a lot of people in need of sin forgiveness, in fact, too many. People who would not be much use to fight were showing up in droves. Helen of Troy may have had the face that launched a thousand ships, but Pope Urban, not nearly as beautiful, certainly launched a thousand feet. The first crusade was wildly successful, and each crusade that followed, oh yes there were many more, found a much stiffer response to their invasion of the Holy Lands. I do think that the Turks and the Arabs, who stood in the way of the Frankish armies, were progressively better prepared to fight. Eventually, it all came to an end with the fall of Acre in 1291. What Dan Jones will do is take you through the crusades one by one and introduce you to the movers and shakers on both sides of the conflict in each period. You will have moments where you will feel like you are at a cocktail party full of strangers, and someone is taking you around to introduce you in lightning fashion to what feels like hundreds of people. Never fear, unlike the cocktail party, Jones supplies you with crib sheets at the beginning of the book that lists all the characters and a quick synopsis of why they are important. I’ve never been a big fan of the Crusades, though I have, over the years, read quite a bit about them. I think of them as an incredible waste of lives and resources, and the fact that they are spurred by religious zealtry is not a big selling point for me either. The church, as time went on, used the Crusade banner to eliminate problems in the west as well, like the Cathars in France. For those who read Kate Mosse’s book Labyrinth, you already have a working knowledge of the insidious motivations behind that massacre. There were kings and counts who did not want to go to the Holy Land, where it was likely they might die or return terminally ill or, worse, experience an embarrassing defeat, who jumped at the chance to fulfill their duty to the cross somewhere closer to home. Despite my misgivings about the subject matter, this is Dan Jones we are talking about. I’ve enjoyed his other books on the Plantagenets and the Templars. I’ve also relished his TV specials, especially The Secrets of the British Castles which became a Sunday morning event. With Jones at the tiller, I found myself getting caught up in the actions of the Crusaders. There were many moments where his descriptive powers had me enthralled. When the Crusaders tried to invade Egypt, they ran into a Moses-parting-the-Red-Sea type situation. Not the first part where the Jews escaped between the towering walls of water, but the second part where the water descended upon the chasing Egyptian army. The Egyptians might have learned more from the Bible than the Christians. ”On that night, sluice gates, canals and irrigation ditches along the river, designed to regulate the floodwaters, were all thrown open and the land on which the crusader army stood simply disappeared, turned in a matter of hours from rock-hard, sunbaked soil into a deep, sucking, swamp. Those of the rank and file who were drunk or simply asleep drowned in their tents. Panicked pilgrims and infantry who woke and tried to scramble aboard boats overloaded them so they sank. Camels and mules carrying weapons, treasure and food were swept away.” Can you imagine? I would have more sympathy for the Crusaders except they had tried this same thing a few years before with similar results. If you are going to invade Egypt, you need to pick a very, very dry year. There were complete bonehead situations, like the Egyptian campaign, but there were also ingenious moments as well. I particularly enjoyed the story of Sigurd of Norway fighting pirates who have holed up behind piled stone in front of caves. He had his men haul two small boats up the side of the mountain and then lowered them down, full of men, who promptly dispatched the pirates from above. Seriously? Talk about thinking out of the box. What is most impressive is that Sigurd was around 18 when he dreamed up this plan. How about when the Muslim assassin snuck into the tent of the crusader King Edward the First, and Edward not only fought him off but killed him? It reminded me of when Andrew Jackson used a cane to beat a would be assassin to the ground. Edward was, without a doubt, everything someone would want in a king. He was tall, even referred to as Longshanks. He was intelligent. He was ruthless. He was a winner. Jones did not forget about the women. There was Melisende, queen of Jerusalem, who rose to power through opportunity, but also through great ability. There was Eleanor of Aquitaine, who actually went on crusade with her husband Louis VII. It proved to be the end of her marriage. She split the sheets with Louis and promptly hopped into bed with the English king Henry II. If you haven’t read much on Eleanor, you are missing out. She was a remarkable, self-confident woman who soon bedeviled Henry even more than she did Louis. One of my favorites was Anna Komnene, who wrote a book called Alexiad that celebrated the life of her father Alexios, but in the course of telling her father’s story, she also captured many important moments during the crusades. She was, in some cases, an eye witness to these events. In later chapters, the Mongols appeared on the scene in the 1240s. ”Over that time many people had tried to stand in the Mongols’ way, and plenty more had simply held their hands up and surrendered. Anyone foolhardy enough to resist usually ended up like the Christian army that now lay earless on the Silesian soil: defeated, dead and humbled; left to rot as a warning of the consequences of resisting the most fearsome military machine the world had ever known.” This would have been a good time, if you were a western king who was sworn to the cross, to come down with a lung rumbling cough that would delay your travels to the East. 368 pages to cover nearly 200 years of bloody history. Jones has a good eye for what a reader will find most interesting, and he doesn’t overload us with dates and names to the point that we feel we are mired in the flooded plains of Egypt. We see incompetence, bravery, grandstanding, squabbling allies, and the emergence of some very competent leadership on both sides. Chaos creates opportunity for some and complete disaster for others. I think I will always be haunted by the thought of those women and children left on the docks of Acre in 1291 as they watched the last loaded boats depart as the castle burns behind them. I am writing this review on September 11th, and I can’t help but think of a similar disastrous moment as we had to watch people jump from burning buildings in New York because we could do nothing to save them. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Well researched and very interesting!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mark Gannon

    This book worked hard for it's five stars, and they were well earned. This is the third book by Dan Jones that I have read and he never fails to impress. He has taken the Crusades, with its long history, tangled politics and sometimes larger than life characters and presented it in a format that is easy to read and easy to understand for the average person. I am not really one for long reviews, so I will leave you with this-- the book is well written, obviously well researched, the pr This book worked hard for it's five stars, and they were well earned. This is the third book by Dan Jones that I have read and he never fails to impress. He has taken the Crusades, with its long history, tangled politics and sometimes larger than life characters and presented it in a format that is easy to read and easy to understand for the average person. I am not really one for long reviews, so I will leave you with this-- the book is well written, obviously well researched, the presentation is excellent. It is informative, thought provoking and entertaining. The epilogue is also brilliant- giving context to how the Crusades of 1095 to the mid fifteenth century still effect us today.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    What is there new to say about one of the most frequently written about events in human history? To his credit Dan Jones makes no grandiose claims about a fresh interpretation, but instead approaches the story from the standpoint of some of the key individuals involved: men and women who played a role in the various military campaigns and the Christian kingdoms they spawned. An accomplished writer with a gift for identifying the engaging detail, Jones writes about their lives in an entertaining What is there new to say about one of the most frequently written about events in human history? To his credit Dan Jones makes no grandiose claims about a fresh interpretation, but instead approaches the story from the standpoint of some of the key individuals involved: men and women who played a role in the various military campaigns and the Christian kingdoms they spawned. An accomplished writer with a gift for identifying the engaging detail, Jones writes about their lives in an entertaining narrative that makes for a good read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)

    Very good and enjoyable! Dan Jones was amazing as usual. A lot of this was a refresher for me because of a college class I took about Europe in the high middle ages. We covered the start of the Crusades and into other areas. I've also found a fantastic podcast that's all about the various Crusades, so I've listened to a lot of the history. Just a fantastic book! I really want to own it for my shelves.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Geoffrey

    (Note: I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley) “Crusaders” is definitely an ambitious take on a subject that has already had so much written about it. Dan Jones goes well beyond the Levant and Egypt to also include the Reconquista in the Iberian Peninsula, the oft-forgotten Baltic Crusades, Sicily, and elsewhere throughout three different continents. Despite the hefty reach over both its geographic and chronological range, it successfully avoids turning into a bog of place names, names (Note: I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley) “Crusaders” is definitely an ambitious take on a subject that has already had so much written about it. Dan Jones goes well beyond the Levant and Egypt to also include the Reconquista in the Iberian Peninsula, the oft-forgotten Baltic Crusades, Sicily, and elsewhere throughout three different continents. Despite the hefty reach over both its geographic and chronological range, it successfully avoids turning into a bog of place names, names of rulers, and dates. The finely crafted historical narrative keeps its path intact all the way from start to finish. The only mild complaint is that there definitely were points where I felt the coverage of certain items felt a bit thin. But then again, trade offs will be inevitable in the construction of a history that will be both accessible and expansive. And considering all that it needs to encompass, “Crusaders” does the best job that it can possibly do striking that balance between accessibility and and detailed depth. Overall, Dan Jones has pulled together a history that is quite impressive in its simultaneously intimate yet sweeping review of the religious wars whose influence continues to reach out to the present day.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah - All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

    Such a great read. Superb. Review to come. —————— IIIIIII CAAAAAAAAAAN'T WAAAAAAAAAAAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And yeah, I rated it already, what'cha gonna do about it?

  8. 4 out of 5

    مؤرخ

    كتب هذا الكتاب إلى القارئ العام وليس المختص، وكتب بأسلوب مميز. مشكلة المؤلف أنه يتحدث عن التاريخ الإسلامي كثيرا -كما هو متوقع من موضوع الكتاب- إلا أنه يعتمد على الترجمات وقراءات غيره ممن يعرف العربية، وهذا أوقعه في أخطاء كثيرة. في المقابل الكتاب غني بالمعلومات عن الشق الغربي الصليبي، وأسلوبه سلس مشوق.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Henri

    My first Dan Jones book. Very much worth all the effort.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jason Wilson

    Via Audible. As the author explains, the book is called Crusaders as the generic name of crusades was not applied to what was several conflicts over four centuries till much later . Thus the narrative is angled from its participants . Broadly this works well a is cogent though I was glad I had read other stuff about this period first. The book is even handed about all sides; the internal power struggles among both Christians and Arabs, and atrocities ( the book points out t Via Audible. As the author explains, the book is called Crusaders as the generic name of crusades was not applied to what was several conflicts over four centuries till much later . Thus the narrative is angled from its participants . Broadly this works well a is cogent though I was glad I had read other stuff about this period first. The book is even handed about all sides; the internal power struggles among both Christians and Arabs, and atrocities ( the book points out that some of these were not unusual by the standards of their own time ) and its account of the legacy of the crusades in modern dialogue about terrorism etc. makes for a sobering coda. Both Christian and Muslim rulers had some mixed motives in terms of uniting and extending their reach, before a third force, the Mongols, made things more complex. This is one of those periods we tend to wring our hands about in self disgust now in over compensation for the imperial zeal of the past ; the pendulum of thought swings from one side to the other before hopefully finding the mature centre. There are complex factors to be taken into account, and while this doesn’t excuse everything it does mean that viewing the past through a modern liberal prism doesn’t really work. So what to make of it ? Like Tony Blair’s WMD, an Arabic threat to the west is difficult to judge, but the threat to Byzantium was unquestionably real. Is there theological justification for the zeal to save Jerusalem when holy places as such are kind of an old covenant thing ? I don’t know, but some of the forgiveness- for- fighting rhetoric was undoubtedly medieval indulgence theology at its most dubious. Jones is a good reader of his own work and this was a good listen.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

    An excellent narrative overview of 500 years of crusading, in all its forms, plus a consideration of its continuing impact. An accessible, chatty, humourous style, following individual crusaders, but backed up by extensive research and knowledge. I particularly applaud the focus on women, both more and less significant, and the evenhanded approach to Muslims and Christians alike.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn Fontane

    Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Hold Lands by Dan Jones is an interesting and seemingly well-researched story of all of the crusaders--those who went to the Holy Land as well as those who fought the Muslims in Spain and other areas of the Mediterranean and even those who chose to fight the pagans in the Slavic regions. The scope is a bit over-whelming, but the method Jones used to center the stories around various individuals--crusaders, not crusade--make it understandable and re Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Hold Lands by Dan Jones is an interesting and seemingly well-researched story of all of the crusaders--those who went to the Holy Land as well as those who fought the Muslims in Spain and other areas of the Mediterranean and even those who chose to fight the pagans in the Slavic regions. The scope is a bit over-whelming, but the method Jones used to center the stories around various individuals--crusaders, not crusade--make it understandable and relatable to those readers who began with only limited knowledge of the subject. I for one learned a lot from reading it. Given my prior limited study, I hate to attempt to judge the value of this book for those who are scholars in this field. I doubt there is much new information, but I think he does an excellent job of pulling it altogether and making it coherent for the reader. This is not a dry list of facts, but an immersion into the minds and feelings of the people covered. Not only did I get a real feeling for the historical crusades, but I can see why even today the use of the word "crusade" causes such violent reaction by many individuals. One of the qualities that I liked when reading it is that I felt he was even handed in his treatment of the Christians and others (Muslim and pagan alike). Many of the so called Christians were simply evil, and many of the "others" were just as sincere in their defense of their lives and beliefs. People on both sides of the wars are equally well described. It is a book I can recommend to anyone who is interested in learning more about this period (periods) of history. People and events come alive. Relationships between the various battles and wars are clear, and the various empires and countries (which change continually) are easier to relate to. It is well worth the read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Liviu

    Excellent (and reading like a novel for most of the book) book about the Crusades with vignette-like stories that present all the larger than life characters (popes and preachers, scholars, warriors, emperors, sultans, queens and princesses) of the relatively familiar tale though here it encompasses the whole range from the Holy Land, to Sicily and the Islands of the Mediterranean to Spain and Portugal, but also the Crusade against the Cathars and the ones in the Baltic area. While fairly long a Excellent (and reading like a novel for most of the book) book about the Crusades with vignette-like stories that present all the larger than life characters (popes and preachers, scholars, warriors, emperors, sultans, queens and princesses) of the relatively familiar tale though here it encompasses the whole range from the Holy Land, to Sicily and the Islands of the Mediterranean to Spain and Portugal, but also the Crusade against the Cathars and the ones in the Baltic area. While fairly long as a book, it still reads fast as the period covering some 3 centuries is full to the brim with events. With an epilogue leading to the present, I felt that the only major weakness of the book is not to put the Crusades into the larger historical context of the struggle for domination of the Middle East and more generally of the Mediterranean basin - one could argue that the first Crusade started under Alexander or maybe even under Darius and Xerxes going the other way and so it went with the Muslim conquests from the 7th century on and the Byzantine and later Western counterattack (which is the subject of this book) only a part of the story. On the other hand I liked that the author kept away from easy ideological judgements and emphasized that the religious part while essential at the start, got more and more diluted as times passed by and while he jumped from the 15th century to the present, the anti-Habsurg alliance of France and the Ottoman Empire from Francis and Suleiman to essentially the late 19th century would have made that point very clearly. Overall a great read and highly recommended

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Hennigan

    Although "Crusaders" is about some very unholy activities practiced by the combatants from both West and East in the Middle Ages, Dan Jones' new history on the subject is an exciting and entertaining read. While the 'adventures' of Richard the Lionheart and Saladin may sound the stuff of Boy's Own tales, their histories, and those of others who ventured on the wars for the Holy Land (with side trips to Egypt and Byzantium) before and after them, can - and have - resulted in some dry tomes, this, Although "Crusaders" is about some very unholy activities practiced by the combatants from both West and East in the Middle Ages, Dan Jones' new history on the subject is an exciting and entertaining read. While the 'adventures' of Richard the Lionheart and Saladin may sound the stuff of Boy's Own tales, their histories, and those of others who ventured on the wars for the Holy Land (with side trips to Egypt and Byzantium) before and after them, can - and have - resulted in some dry tomes, this, thankfully, isn't one of them. Despite the many titled individuals, their numerous lands and kingdoms, allies and enemies which fill the narrative, Jones succeeds in keeping the reader's attention focused on the people, places and events central to the story. It's a skill not every writer of popular histories possesses. Jones' research brings his volume up to date with the latest scholarship, the sources of which are provided in the book's bibliography. There are also extensive notes, making this book itself a useful resource for anyone just getting interested in the subject. Having studied the Crusades and the Frankish Kingdom of Jerusalem, I've had reason to read many books on the subject from both sides of the conflict(s). Jones' new "Epic History..." is a welcome addition to my collection. It is a worthy successor to Sir Steven Runciman's three volume "History of the Crusades".

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael Steinbrecher

    As excellent as Dan Jones’ “The Plantagenets” and “The Wars of the Roses” were, he has outdone himself with “Crusaders.” This is meticulously researched history told with an extraordinary level of detail and insight into the lives and times of the many principal characters. Intelligently written, impressive in scope, and highly readable. The story is carried along by a multitude of people: women and men, Christians, Muslims, Arabs, Jews, Turks, and even a band of Vikings. This infuses what could As excellent as Dan Jones’ “The Plantagenets” and “The Wars of the Roses” were, he has outdone himself with “Crusaders.” This is meticulously researched history told with an extraordinary level of detail and insight into the lives and times of the many principal characters. Intelligently written, impressive in scope, and highly readable. The story is carried along by a multitude of people: women and men, Christians, Muslims, Arabs, Jews, Turks, and even a band of Vikings. This infuses what could be a dry retelling of the Crusades with vivid characters whose colorful stories fairly leap off the pages. One of my favorite aspects of the book is that the author confines himself to quotations exclusively from primary sources. This invigorates the narrative and reinforces the authenticity of the story. For students of history, lovers of a good adventure yarn, and fans of just plain good writing, “Crusaders” is highly recommended.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Scott Wozniak

    Rather than tell all the details of the all the people and battles of this multi-century period of the crusades, he picks some of the most interesting and important people. From Saladin to the rise of the Queen of Jerusalem, the stories show how this is far more than just a bunch of knights using Jesus as an excuse for conquest (which sadly did happen). It's also a time shaped by Arab politics, military technology and has as much West vs. West and Arab vs. Arab as it does the stereotypical battl Rather than tell all the details of the all the people and battles of this multi-century period of the crusades, he picks some of the most interesting and important people. From Saladin to the rise of the Queen of Jerusalem, the stories show how this is far more than just a bunch of knights using Jesus as an excuse for conquest (which sadly did happen). It's also a time shaped by Arab politics, military technology and has as much West vs. West and Arab vs. Arab as it does the stereotypical battles. Be warned: this is a gruesome time, when all sides did horrible things to each other, from poisonous palace coups to horrific starvation sieges. So it's not a lighthearted read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    As the title indicates, this is not a large-scale overview of the Crusades themselves. Instead, Jones zooms in on individual participants (Muslim, Jewish, Christian, women, men, and children), showing how they both shaped and were shaped by the era into which they were born. Works like this, which offer a distinct human focus, are so important. As always, I salute Jones for his remarkable turn of phrase and laser focus on humanizing details, turning what could easily feel like cookie-cutter summ As the title indicates, this is not a large-scale overview of the Crusades themselves. Instead, Jones zooms in on individual participants (Muslim, Jewish, Christian, women, men, and children), showing how they both shaped and were shaped by the era into which they were born. Works like this, which offer a distinct human focus, are so important. As always, I salute Jones for his remarkable turn of phrase and laser focus on humanizing details, turning what could easily feel like cookie-cutter summaries into sharply defined sketches of real people.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    A history book according to my heart, well written and well researched, without any abstruse occult theory. I studied the Crusades at school and at the university so the content was not unknown to me but I appreciated the fresh look at this complex and fascinating series of historical events that involves most of the main player on the European scene during the whole Middle Age. I liked the style of writing, how the book is organised and how engrossing and entertaining this book is.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shanna

    So I apparently have yet to meet a book by Dan Jones that disappoints me. He has surprised and amazed me once again with his new book: a whole lot of information about a very hostile time broken down into easily understood and comprehendable material. I also liked the way he approached the Crusaders: rather than focusing on the group as a whole and what they were fighting for, he chose to focus on specific individuals from every side of the conflict. I highly recommend this book (and all of his others!).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    Another fabulous history book for Dan Jones. I loved the Templars but it was so interesting to learn more about Crusaders as a whole and the way those crusades have shaped our modern world. Additionally, I listened to the audiobook and it's always a pleasure listening to the author read his own book. Then I know how to properly pronounce everything and he's British so it's just nice to listen to. Definitely grab this book for your next step into history.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sonny

    I enjoyed how the author used a variety of primary sources, some I wasn't familiar with, to tell the story. He balanced Latin(Western) sources with Arab chroniclers giving a more balanced view of events. Regardless, the story is one of greed, the search for political power and racism...with religion at it's base. I highly recommend the book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    An excellent history of the Crusades and the Crusaders. Excellent writing as it reads more like a novel than a summary of dry historical facts. A brilliant treatise on some of the origins behind chronic unrest of the Mideast and the Holy land.

  23. 4 out of 5

    C.M. Crockford

    Reviewing for Shelf Awareness

  24. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Hurst

    This is well researched and well written. It is a complicated subject and Dan Jones writes in an entertaining and readable style.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joey

    Truly an insightful, approachable read. While a bit repetitive, that can be blamed more on history than the writing. A must-read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Lokkesmoe

    Dan Jones writes history in a form that’s both interesting and readable without sacrificing detail. “Crusaders” is nearly as good as “Plantagenets”.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Richly detailed story of the movers and shakers of the Crusades - Dan Jones never fails to amaze

  28. 5 out of 5

    Doris Raines

    GREAT BOOK.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Peter Andersson

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