This is the epic story of the battle for the Holy Land, and the two opposing warriors at its centre: legendary crusader Richard the Lionheart, and Sultan Saladin, iconic hero of the Islamic world. Richard Plantagenet, commonly depicted as a romantic figure, emerges here in all his dark complexity at the head of the blood-soaked Crusades. Likewise ...
This is the epic story of the battle for the Holy Land, and the two opposing warriors at its centre: legendary crusader Richard the Lionheart, and Sultan Saladin, iconic hero of the Islamic world. Richard Plantagenet, commonly depicted as a romantic figure, emerges here in all his dark complexity at the head of the blood-soaked Crusades. Likewise Reston offers a compelling portrait of Salah ad-Din, a wise and cultured Sunni Muslim whose recapture of Jerusalem in 1187 set the stage for his mighty clash with the forces of Christian Europe. 'This book is a timely reminder that (we must hope) George Bush didn't know what he was talking about when he uttered the infamous 'c' word after September 11. For the crusades were among the most disgusting blots on the human record, the men who embarked on them doing so in the name of their god, also known as the Prince of Peace; and they, too, thought they were defending the only civilisation on earth.' Geoffrey Moorhouse, Guardian
It was refreshing to read a book that seems to treat all sides fairly. No western bias prevelant.
King Richard on display with all his valor, yet all his human shortcomings.
The western forces talk about chivalry. But, maybe THE most chivalrous person of the time and events was Sallah Adin (Saladin). A great leader, a savior to a religion, and a magnanimous opponent.
A must read for the history buff. Also, a great book for someone just begining to read from the history realm, or if just begining to read about the crusades. The style is so un-cumbersome that you can enjoy it as much as any fiction out there.
One truth- the greatest stories have already been told. That is history. Do yourself a favor and enjoy this (hi)story.
Jul 10, 2008
Wonderful exposition of the personalities of Richard the Lion-hearted,Saladin ,Elinore of Aquitaine(and the French Prince) during the later Crusades. Very detailed account of daily life on both Christain and Saracen side. An historical work that is a page turner.
Mar 13, 2008
Warriors of God
I thoroughly enjoyed Warriors of God by James Reston, despite a few inadequacies i noticed. His inability to make notations for his sources does not do anything for the credibility of his claims, such as his casual references to Richard the Lionheart's supposed homosexuality. This unsupported claim only lowers the credibility of the book. However, coming into the story with only a slight understanding of the events surrounding the Third Crusade, i found the book an extremely well written and engaging narrative. It reads almost more like novel than it does a historical narrative, and i think this is a plus. Altogether, an excellent narrative that gives the story of the Third Crusade in an engaging and interesting manner.
Publishers Weekly, 2001-03-12 Chronicling the often inglorious exploits during the third crusade (1187-1192) of King Richard I of England and Saladin, the sultan of Egypt, Syria, Arabia and Mesopotamia, Reston's panoramic narrative begins with the first crusade, launched by Pope Urban II in the last years of the 11th century. In the story's unfolding, we are privy to a world peopled by a bevy of characters, compelling and repulsive: starving, horse-and-grass-eating Christian soldiers, who, in sturdier moments, cut down the enemy with something akin to religious relish; mighty Muslim swimmers, traversing ocean waters and trailing leather pouches heavy with money and messages; the seafaring ghost of St. Thomas of Canterbury, urging onward fearful and flagging crusaders; Christian and Muslim men who betray gleefully savage contempt for women of all confessions. Some passages lend this account the flavor of historical fiction, complete with the requisite romance: a purported sexual liaison between Richard the Lionheart and King Philip Augustus of France. This is, nonetheless, a worthwhile introduction for those eager to be swept along by an often lively narrative thick with disturbing and provocative details. The interweaving of Islamic perspectives with those of Christians is especially valuable. This frankly accessible work may capture the imagination of those who have thus far resisted the pull of crusade history, presenting, as it does, both the extraordinary and less well known participants for whom this peculiar drama was the stuff of everyday life. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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