Compelling … Asbridge’s narrative builds into a haunting and thought-provoking story [that] sheds light upon the present as well as the past.
Helen Castor, The Guardian
A powerful, assured and epic book … stuffed with the kind of splendidly colourful anecdotes that only the medieval era can supply. Asbridge departs radically — and successfully — from tradition [and] brilliantly exposes Muslim strategies and motivations.
James McConnachie, The Sunday Times
[A] compelling narrative that resonates inescapably with contemporary events … A masterful conclusion.
Malise Ruthven, The Observer
Asbridge takes care, in this scholarly survey of medieval crusading activity from the 11th to the 13th centuries, to give the Muslim perspective as much weight as the Christian. [He tells] a ripping yarn, often breezily dramatic, whipping the narrative along his theme of the perpetual power struggles in and for the Near East.
Iain Finlayson, The Times
A dramatic and powerful look at both sides of the story . . . Our choice of the best recent books.
A glorious, appalling journey into a past age and a vicious metaphor for present woes.
Thomas Asbridge brings all the colour and drama of this violent era resolutely alive in The Crusades, presenting this clash of civilisations from both the Christian and Islamic viewpoints.
The Oxford Times
Today the crusades are all too topical, though mostly, Asbridge observes, for the wrong reasons: interesting as they are, he says, their place is in the past. That doesn’t stop them being exciting, stirring, moving, horrific and a whole lot of other things as well though: this book gives us narrative history at its best.
Asbridge has drawn on his extensive knowledge of the subject to write a wide-ranging history of the wars.
BBC History Magazine
Brilliant, authoritative, and accessible, Thomas Asbridge’s THE CRUSADES is a must read. Asbridge balances impeccable scholarship with a gifted storyteller’s engaging voice. He vividly portrays the driving forces and personalities, the perspectives of Christians and Muslims, and the legacy of the Crusades in Christian and Muslim history and imagination.
John L. Esposito
Director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding
Their story is told anew … There is more here than a historical account. Tell[s] a new, no less interesting, story as well: how the memory of the Crusades was formed in modern times.
Wall Street Journal
Asbridge has produced a truly comprehensive history of holy war in the Holy Land. Emphasizing the dramatic Third Crusade and its heroic antagonists, Richard the Lionheart and Saladin, the narrative reads like an adventure story, albeit one that is both factual and instructive. The accounts of the massive Muslim victory at Hattin and the successful Crusader siege of Acre are especially vivid … Clearly depicted as well is the importance of trade and diplomacy in the constant struggle for supremacy and, also, the significance of the last great figures of the Crusades, King Louis IX of France and Baybars, the Lion of Egypt.
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review