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Battaglia di Damasco, luglio 1148: qui inizia la storia del celebre sultano Saladino e del giovane crociato John di Tatewic, due avversari riuniti dalla sorte, la cui amicizia cambierà il volto della Terrasanta. È la storia delle Crociate, raccontata per la prima volta attraverso gli occhi di Saladino – un bambino timido e amante dei libri, destinato a diventare il grande Battaglia di Damasco, luglio 1148: qui inizia la storia del celebre sultano Saladino e del giovane crociato John di Tatewic, due avversari riuniti dalla sorte, la cui amicizia cambierà il volto della Terrasanta. È la storia delle Crociate, raccontata per la prima volta attraverso gli occhi di Saladino – un bambino timido e amante dei libri, destinato a diventare il grande guerriero che riconquisterà Gerusalemme – e John, un uomo dal torbido passato, giunto in Terrasanta in cerca di redenzione. Quando John viene catturato in battaglia e acquistato come schiavo dalla famiglia di Saladino, i due diventano grandi amici. Ma la guerra continua a infuriare. Saladino e John finiranno su fronti opposti: John, liberato dalla schiavitù, combatterà le cospirazioni e i tradimenti della corte di Gerusalemme e diventerà il braccio destro di re Riccardo Cuor di Leone, mentre Saladino conquisterà l’Egitto, riunirà l’Arabia sotto il suo potere e partirà alla riconquista del Medio Oriente. Tra epiche battaglie, intrighi politici, corruzione e trame di palazzo, Il signore delle crociate ripercorre la storia di un grande condottiero e della guerra santa che ha combattuto.


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Battaglia di Damasco, luglio 1148: qui inizia la storia del celebre sultano Saladino e del giovane crociato John di Tatewic, due avversari riuniti dalla sorte, la cui amicizia cambierà il volto della Terrasanta. È la storia delle Crociate, raccontata per la prima volta attraverso gli occhi di Saladino – un bambino timido e amante dei libri, destinato a diventare il grande Battaglia di Damasco, luglio 1148: qui inizia la storia del celebre sultano Saladino e del giovane crociato John di Tatewic, due avversari riuniti dalla sorte, la cui amicizia cambierà il volto della Terrasanta. È la storia delle Crociate, raccontata per la prima volta attraverso gli occhi di Saladino – un bambino timido e amante dei libri, destinato a diventare il grande guerriero che riconquisterà Gerusalemme – e John, un uomo dal torbido passato, giunto in Terrasanta in cerca di redenzione. Quando John viene catturato in battaglia e acquistato come schiavo dalla famiglia di Saladino, i due diventano grandi amici. Ma la guerra continua a infuriare. Saladino e John finiranno su fronti opposti: John, liberato dalla schiavitù, combatterà le cospirazioni e i tradimenti della corte di Gerusalemme e diventerà il braccio destro di re Riccardo Cuor di Leone, mentre Saladino conquisterà l’Egitto, riunirà l’Arabia sotto il suo potere e partirà alla riconquista del Medio Oriente. Tra epiche battaglie, intrighi politici, corruzione e trame di palazzo, Il signore delle crociate ripercorre la storia di un grande condottiero e della guerra santa che ha combattuto.

30 review for Il signore delle crociate. È nato un guerriero

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stuart

    1148AD, welcome to the Holy Land, or hell for some. This is the first of Jack Hight's 'Saladin's Trilogy' it's rather a good read. Welcome to the Second Crusade. The first one went fairly well, thanks for asking. So, the story begins with John, a Saxon from England who was forced to flee and take the crusade. He settles in with some Franks under the command of Reynald - who is such a lovely fellow *sarcasm*. The real story is about a young Kurd named Yusuf ibn Ayub, who in time becomes known 1148AD, welcome to the Holy Land, or hell for some. This is the first of Jack Hight's 'Saladin's Trilogy' it's rather a good read. Welcome to the Second Crusade. The first one went fairly well, thanks for asking. So, the story begins with John, a Saxon from England who was forced to flee and take the crusade. He settles in with some Franks under the command of Reynald - who is such a lovely fellow *sarcasm*. The real story is about a young Kurd named Yusuf ibn Ayub, who in time becomes known as Saladin, translated as "Eagle". Somehow (I won't spoil the how) John and Yusuf eventually become friends. Unfortunately for John, being a Frankish-son-of-a-pig (not my words!) isn't a good think in the lands of the Muslims. He finds himself besotted with Yusuf's sister Zimaet - unable to speak Arabic, John makes a deal with Yusuf, that he will train him to fight if he'll teach him to speak Arabic. What puts a spanner in the works is Turan, Yusuf's older brother. Unlike him, Turan is a warrior, and is more of a do first, think later type of character. The brothers hate each other, and what begins as a really typical story of squabbling sibling turns into a really good spin. For me, it really helped bring the brothers characters to the fore. The supporting characters that Jack Hight introduces really gel well with the story as a whole (handy that considering). Reynald is a conniving bugger, who I think is brilliant in the context of the story. Ayub, Yusuf's father is a man of honour, but finds himself doing less than honourable deeds for the betterment of ridding the hold land of the crusaders. I've mentioned Turan previously, in my opinion his characterisation is brilliantly committed to paper. Historical Conrad III and Louis VII led this crusade, it didn't go as planned. So, it's going to be interesting to see how Jack's future books go, as that crusade ended up being very one sided. I'm guessing the books are going to jump over into the Third Crusade, which was slightly more successful. The only downer about "Eagle" was the repetition of names when it came to Jack Hight writing scenes involving combat. Here is an example (not word for word) – "Yusuf lunged forward to catch John off-guard. John spun away. Yusuf now to the side of John, moved his right fist to connect with John's kidney. John deflected the incoming blow and pushed Yusuf away. Yusuf moved forward once again and ducked another telling blow. He then faints a punch to the left and with his right staggers John with a crunching blow to the jaw." As I said it's not word for word, it's merely an example of the amount of times 'Yusuf' was used. In the actual paragraph, which is around page 120, 'Yusuf' was written 19 times. It was like watching one of those old 80s cartoons where they are running away from the baddie, with the same background whizzing by. I mentioned in one of my status updates that not a lot was happening in the first hundred pages, this is true. The beginning was fairly dull, but once certain strands came together, it turned into a bloody good read. What really is surprising is that 'Saladin Trilogy' isn't more widely known about. If you read it, let me know what you think.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tariq Mahmood

    Wow, a real page turner and a treat for all Muslims. The legendary Saladin is portrayed in a most realistic manner. His ambitious rise from a modest background to the heights of power is well depicted, complete with narrations of kitchen, stables, manners. Thoroughly enjoyed the slavery episode and all its very realistic details. Though slavery was rampant in Europe back then but at least Europeans have apologised and moved on while the Arabs on the other hand still use slavery albeit under diff Wow, a real page turner and a treat for all Muslims. The legendary Saladin is portrayed in a most realistic manner. His ambitious rise from a modest background to the heights of power is well depicted, complete with narrations of kitchen, stables, manners. Thoroughly enjoyed the slavery episode and all its very realistic details. Though slavery was rampant in Europe back then but at least Europeans have apologised and moved on while the Arabs on the other hand still use slavery albeit under different brandings. What sort of personality did Saladin have? I got a very clear image of a very ambitious, determined, steeped in Islam, virtuous, family man, and passionate young individual. But most of all Saladin had a natural propensity for justice. A virtue which he was never afraid to wager against the greatest of odds. There is one story where he wagers everything he owns on a fight just to save the honour of a slave girl. I absolutely loved his character as portrayed by the author. I also enjoyed Jack's portrayal of the many battle scenes which I generally find difficult to follow. Can't wait to read the second in the series which I believe is called the 'Kingdom'.

  3. 5 out of 5

    S.J.A. Turney

    I just finished a back-to-back read of the first two books in Jack Hight's Saladin series - Eagle and Kingdom, so this is very much a review of both. The story follows the youth and growth of the young Yusuf, from his childhood when he is considered weak and unworthy through to becoming the legendar character that is Salah Ad Din, scourge of the crusaders. The first thing that struck me about these books (and I would say is still the outstanding review factor after book 2 ends) is the fresh perspe I just finished a back-to-back read of the first two books in Jack Hight's Saladin series - Eagle and Kingdom, so this is very much a review of both. The story follows the youth and growth of the young Yusuf, from his childhood when he is considered weak and unworthy through to becoming the legendar character that is Salah Ad Din, scourge of the crusaders. The first thing that struck me about these books (and I would say is still the outstanding review factor after book 2 ends) is the fresh perspective Hight has written from. The crusading era is not uncommon for writers of Historical Fiction, and Hight's offering might easily have become run of the mill, despite his obvious knowledge and talent, had he not done something different to stand out. Eagle and Kingdom are both written largely from the Arabic Saracen perspective, though seen often through the eyes of a westerner (John of Tatewic), which gives it relevance to a western reader. The main characters are generally Saracen, and that people are portrayed, unusually in this milieu, as an honourable, ethical, family-oriented, pious, friendly and likeable people. That fact alone could have driven me through the series. Couple that with High's clear knowledge of the era of the Second Crusade and the world in which the future Saladin grew up, and also his understanding and presentation of Islam and the Islamic peoples of the time, and it creates a story that is not only fresh and interesting, but also informative and revealing. I'm no expert on the time, but I do have a grounding in the early crusades from schooling and private reading and, while the author makes a couple of small tweaks or takes a tiny liberty with direct fact for the sake of story (which all such authors do and without which Historical Fiction would simply be non-fiction) everything seems to fall perfectly into place with geography and timelines. The story follows a general arc of personal growth, mirrored in the growth of Saracen power in the Middle East. The first book follows how young Yusuf, in the shadow of his brutal brother, comes across John, a Christian knight, after a battle at Damascus following which he is taken prisoner. Yusuf buys John as a slave and a bond slowly begins to form between the two, granting John more freedom and hope than a man in his position should ever wish for, but teaching young Yusuf everything he needs to become the man he is destined to be. The interplay between the two characters of totally different cultures and the interplay as they learn from each other is lovely and makes the book an easy read. The second book moves more into the world of politics and intrigue, and takes us to Egypt and into a world of internecine warfare. In the meantime, John is having troubles of his own in Jerusalem. The interplay between the characters is still there when it can be, but by necessity the series has grown and moved on in the second book and there is more of a focus on the activities of the two friends (Yusuf and John) as individuals than there was in the first book. This is, of course, wholly appropriate for the plot arc, as is the warfare that is becoming more and more prevalent and central as the story progresses. I look forward the the conclusion of the trilogy and what it means for the friendship between John and Saladin.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    This was a weird book to read. I really enjoyed the fast pace, the battles and the overall story. But the dialogue, and the characterization were sometimes cringe worthy. This book tells the story of the friendship between a western crusader and the young Saladin. We follow their story from their puberty until they are in there mid twenties. Jack Hight does inject some small side stories just to show off some parts of the islamitic culture, and those stories could sometimes be better integrated This was a weird book to read. I really enjoyed the fast pace, the battles and the overall story. But the dialogue, and the characterization were sometimes cringe worthy. This book tells the story of the friendship between a western crusader and the young Saladin. We follow their story from their puberty until they are in there mid twenties. Jack Hight does inject some small side stories just to show off some parts of the islamitic culture, and those stories could sometimes be better integrated in the story. But all in all this was an enjoyable historic novel.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Beorn

    When it comes to historical fiction there's just something so right about a Jack Hight novel. Regularly packed full of rich characterisation, immersively deep historical fact & context and a magnetic plotline, this novel is no different. After being enthralled by his previous book based on the fall of Constantinople in 1453, I already had a good vibe about this, the opening installment in Hight's Saladin trilogy, before I began reading it. Even so, that didn't prepare me for just how much slippin When it comes to historical fiction there's just something so right about a Jack Hight novel. Regularly packed full of rich characterisation, immersively deep historical fact & context and a magnetic plotline, this novel is no different. After being enthralled by his previous book based on the fall of Constantinople in 1453, I already had a good vibe about this, the opening installment in Hight's Saladin trilogy, before I began reading it. Even so, that didn't prepare me for just how much slipping into his work again, after suffering through a particularly mediocre historical fiction book immediately previous, filled me with the overall feeling of it fitting like a proverbial glove. It has to be mentioned also that the book is told from an intriguing viewpoint, at least to this reader, seeing the Crusades from the angle rarely covered in most historical fiction set in the era, namely from the side of the Saracens (or Muslims). The only minor point at all is towards the second half of the book it tends to slip a little more into recitation of battles & tactics, leaving the previously deep character interactions & intrigues feeling something like an afterthought and sort of superfluous to the action. Mercifully though this is not massively to the overall detriment of the book any more so than when say Conn Iggulden's narrative emphasis switches to battle mode in his series on Ghengis Khan for example. That said, I feel the need to include the disclaimer that this feeling may have developed from the fact that I read the last 300 or so pages in one day, as opposed to a few chapters a day, which may well have warped my interpretation. Overall, a fittingly solid and strong opening salvo in this telling of one of history's most enigmatic characters.

  6. 4 out of 5

    John Salter

    If I'm honest I got this book because there were no new books around by writers who write books about the Roman period, so being interested in the time that this story is set around and the events of the Crusades, I thought I'd give it a go and was pleasantly surprised. Jack Hight has produced a story that's easily readable, flowing and with characters that you can relate with. The two main characters in the book are Yusuf (Saladin) and John (a Saxon from Britain). The book starts with John fight If I'm honest I got this book because there were no new books around by writers who write books about the Roman period, so being interested in the time that this story is set around and the events of the Crusades, I thought I'd give it a go and was pleasantly surprised. Jack Hight has produced a story that's easily readable, flowing and with characters that you can relate with. The two main characters in the book are Yusuf (Saladin) and John (a Saxon from Britain). The book starts with John fighting for the Christians against the Saracens as a young man. During the failed siege of Damascus and the subsequent rout by the Saracens he is injured and captured and then subsequently sold into slavery, where he finds himself at the home of Yusuf and his family, where their relationship slowly develops. As the story unfolds John protects Yusuf from his violent older brother Turan and falls in love with his sister, which has to be kept secret as John is not a Muslim. The two young men become closer as John trains Yusuf in how to fight with his hands and swords but again this has to be done secretly because of the religious and social divide, which is all written very well. Eagle is the first book in a trilogy by Jack Hight (Eagle referring to the dagger that Yusuf carries and his banner). It's a great read and one that has quite a few twists and turns and no doubt will be very popular for those interested in the subject/era. Those who rely on exact copies of history may not thoroughly enjoy it as I understand there maybe a few embellishments or parts that are not the 'gospel' but it is a novel after-all and a good read! I look forward to the next in the series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Fielding

    Interesting story that certainly wets your appetite to learn more about crusades and gives a sense of geographic awareness of the area. The characters lose a bit of their depth in suffering from superhero syndrome, in the ability to do amazing feats in such a short time. Yusaf in particular becomes an amazing tactician and warrior before reaching the age of 18, besting warriors who have years and years of experience. I think a pill of realism is required at times but does not dettach itself from Interesting story that certainly wets your appetite to learn more about crusades and gives a sense of geographic awareness of the area. The characters lose a bit of their depth in suffering from superhero syndrome, in the ability to do amazing feats in such a short time. Yusaf in particular becomes an amazing tactician and warrior before reaching the age of 18, besting warriors who have years and years of experience. I think a pill of realism is required at times but does not dettach itself from a book with a richly described world and story to follow.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hamid Harasani

    This is a very gripping historical novel about Saladin. Of course some characters are fictional but the main events are not. What brought this book a star down in my view was how the way it portrayed Saladin in some parts as immoral. That has no historical basis or rather has very weak historical basis.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kinga

    This is how you do justice to the era referred to as the Crusades. I'm actually writing my thesis about the Crusades through arab eyes, the same title as the great book of Amin Maalouf, but instead of focusing on the battles I'm highlighting the aspects of everyday life based on the arabic accounts. It's quite fascinating, and I've been reading Usama ibn Munqidz's work when I decided to give a go to Jack Height's trilogy, and I'm already amazed after finishing the first of the three novels. The w This is how you do justice to the era referred to as the Crusades. I'm actually writing my thesis about the Crusades through arab eyes, the same title as the great book of Amin Maalouf, but instead of focusing on the battles I'm highlighting the aspects of everyday life based on the arabic accounts. It's quite fascinating, and I've been reading Usama ibn Munqidz's work when I decided to give a go to Jack Height's trilogy, and I'm already amazed after finishing the first of the three novels. The way the author mixed the medieval accounts and the style of historic fiction, fabricating characters based on facts and different but real relationships between them was done brilliantly. There was no black-and-white character - maybe except for Reynald -, and their motivations were clear throughout the novel. My favorite part was undoubtedly when Usama told a story in Nur ad-Din's court about his affair with a frankish woman and what her husband said when he found them together. That exact story - almost word-to-word - is from the actual Usama's account, but with a clever twist: in reality, Usama wrote the same story down, but he was no participant - or, so he says. But I really liked this twist because it is entirely possible; in fact, seems more believable than as if he had only heard about it. I've been searching for great novels of the Crusades, and I'm currently reading Baudolino by Umberto Eco (the style is not much of my liking so far), but Jack Hight had presented exactly what I was looking for. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in this era, because he did justice to both the christian and the muslim side, and few authors managed to succeed with that.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I found this book interesting as Western portrayals of the Crusades usually (inevitably) focus on the Christian side of things and only give you glimpses of Saladin. Here, the author is attempting to portray his whole life, starting with a childhood and adolescence in which he has to deal with a bullying older brother. We also follow the fortunes of a Christian called John, who is bought by the boy, still then called Yusuf. On one hand, it shows the cultured, tolerant side of the future leader, I found this book interesting as Western portrayals of the Crusades usually (inevitably) focus on the Christian side of things and only give you glimpses of Saladin. Here, the author is attempting to portray his whole life, starting with a childhood and adolescence in which he has to deal with a bullying older brother. We also follow the fortunes of a Christian called John, who is bought by the boy, still then called Yusuf. On one hand, it shows the cultured, tolerant side of the future leader, but the idea that he learnt to fight from a white Christian smacks of a patronising attitude - especially when you learn that the character of John is fictional anyway. John's storyline at times seems to take over the novel even though we are supposed to be focusing on the young Yusuf and his coming of age as he learns to make his way in the world. Having said that, the novel does give a fairly in-depth look at some of the key figures of the time - especially on the Muslim side. We get to see the contrast in cultures in aspects like medicine as well as similarities. It also becomes clear that, as much as participants claimed it to be a religious war, there was nothing righteous about the conduct of the combatants - on either side. It is an engrossing read and the author has included notes that shed light on the historical records and sources he has used. I will look for the second one.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mina

    I was drawn to read this book after watching Ridley Scott’s film Kingdom of Heaven about the Crusades and the Muslim taking of Jerusalem. There was a lot of poetic license taken in the making of the film and the screen plot, however the character that intrigued me the most was the Saracen commander Saladin. I searched on Amazon for a book to read to give me a bit more insight into the character of the man and why he was so respected by Muslims and Christians alike. I chose several to read includ I was drawn to read this book after watching Ridley Scott’s film Kingdom of Heaven about the Crusades and the Muslim taking of Jerusalem. There was a lot of poetic license taken in the making of the film and the screen plot, however the character that intrigued me the most was the Saracen commander Saladin. I searched on Amazon for a book to read to give me a bit more insight into the character of the man and why he was so respected by Muslims and Christians alike. I chose several to read including this one. I was absolutely blown away by the story that unfolded. Not just the story itself which is largely based on fact albeit written as fiction with some poetic license thrown in, but the manner in which it was written and the depth of research the author undertook to get the story written. It was easy to read and get lost in the events as they unfolded. I think I finished the book in two days before going back to read again in a more leisurely fashion. I love historical epics and this was a well written story. I look forward to reading more works from this author.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarp

    It was a fun read. I liked the depiction of Arabs, mostly. I think the writer should have better differentiated different ethnicities in the Middle East. Saladin is many times reminded of his Kurdish ethnicity but the people who remind him are not always Arabs themselves, but this isnt acknowledged in the novel. For example, Nur ad Din and Gumushtegin are Turks. I also didnt particularly enjoyed the fight scenes; they were too Hollywood-esqe. The soldiers rarely concern themselves with personal It was a fun read. I liked the depiction of Arabs, mostly. I think the writer should have better differentiated different ethnicities in the Middle East. Saladin is many times reminded of his Kurdish ethnicity but the people who remind him are not always Arabs themselves, but this isnt acknowledged in the novel. For example, Nur ad Din and Gumushtegin are Turks. I also didnt particularly enjoyed the fight scenes; they were too Hollywood-esqe. The soldiers rarely concern themselves with personal safety in the fighting; which I found to be very immersion breaking. I dont want to give spoilers but when a character in armour jumped from the wall on top of the enemy I almost closed the book. Sword fighting scenes aren't that great either.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Akif Okumus

    Nice story mostly based on real historical characters and events. However, I don't think it reflects the true character of Saladin. It shows Saladin doing very bad deeds that even a simple person does not consider to do in any culture. The author admits some of this misinformation in the historical note. Nice story mostly based on real historical characters and events. However, I don't think it reflects the true character of Saladin. It shows Saladin doing very bad deeds that even a simple person does not consider to do in any culture. The author admits some of this misinformation in the historical note.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Quit at about 60% The story and plot are good although completely unrealistic. What killed my interest is the dialogue. It really is awful, I was always cringing. Maybe worth reading whilst chilling by the pool, I would not advice going out of your way to read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Patricia M Thompson

    Well written and interesting. Am now reading the next in the trilogy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    William Carter

    A real treat to read this book. I'm looking forward to the next two. Great narrative of the early life of Saladin and his rise to greatness. A real treat to read this book. I'm looking forward to the next two. Great narrative of the early life of Saladin and his rise to greatness.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dean

    good book, good book to read at the beach for the day!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Igor

    An excellent read... really enjoyed his style of writing and looking forward to the next 2 books in this trilogy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rajab Ali

    This is a book full of exciting battles and moves at a good pace. However, some of the characters are a little one dimensional and a lot of the dialogue is not great either.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Unbestechlich

    I suppose i could give it more stars, but it was very very biased. Saladin is the wisest, the bravest, the most just and the best despite horrible customs described and meanwhile crusaders are weak, stupid and barbarians. and i don't see real friendship between John and Saladin that is implied. Baldwin III didn't get the attention he deserves while Raynald of Chatillon is made a complete brute and grotesque. maybe in the 2nd book John will be at Amalric's court and it'll be more interesting. and I suppose i could give it more stars, but it was very very biased. Saladin is the wisest, the bravest, the most just and the best despite horrible customs described and meanwhile crusaders are weak, stupid and barbarians. and i don't see real friendship between John and Saladin that is implied. Baldwin III didn't get the attention he deserves while Raynald of Chatillon is made a complete brute and grotesque. maybe in the 2nd book John will be at Amalric's court and it'll be more interesting. and i also wonder if there'll be Baldwin the IV in this trilogy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nora

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. When I heard about this book, I was looking forward - lately there were too many books about Templars, so this book promised a change from the current trend while staying the in Crusaders. However, the book turned out to be a bid disappointment. The author did not do his research and the book is full with big number of mistakes, in short if it was not for a fictive European slave boy, Saladin never existed (careful spoilers): * According to this book, Yousef learned to be a fighter in secret and w When I heard about this book, I was looking forward - lately there were too many books about Templars, so this book promised a change from the current trend while staying the in Crusaders. However, the book turned out to be a bid disappointment. The author did not do his research and the book is full with big number of mistakes, in short if it was not for a fictive European slave boy, Saladin never existed (careful spoilers): * According to this book, Yousef learned to be a fighter in secret and was trained by an English slave, because his father did not want to train him. This is the 12th century, every male everywhere in the world was trained to fight, and in a war territory (which the Middle East definitely was) it was mandatory. * Yousef's father kept criticizing his son for loving poetry. Poetry was and still is Arab's first love, and it is not a shame to know poetry by heart. * Arab women (this was the part where I had hard time not to laugh). These women had lots of talks about being property for men and wanted to fight for there freedom (by being unfaithful to their husbands). For God sake this was the 12th century, how much freedom did women in Europe had?? And the veil!! According to the book women were veil only in the street, otherwise expose themselves to anyone visiting their husband!!! * Men, now contrary to the women they are bunch of fools: their wives' have lovers, got children and they do not notice that the child is blond, or that the wife got pregnant though he did not sleep with her (as she complained couple of pages earlier). Do you really believe that an ambitious person like Yousef will risk his career by sleeping with the King's wife??? * Yousef's brother started as a villain and became the best person in the world. I understand that the author could not kill him as he become the founder of the Ayoubian kingdom in Yemen, but why the ridiculous unfounded events in the beginning? * The book is taking for certain that the Ayoubian's were Kurds, this was a big question during their region, and till today it is not settled, there are no clues that they were Kurds. Too bad that the author did not do his research, the only reason to read the next book is the last sentence in this one - would like to know how John will manage to survive!!!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Lameche

    I was really looking forward to reading this book. There are a few books out there regarding Salahuddin but this one seemed like a good start. I was aware before reading that it's a trilogy, this being the first book. I was also aware that it is written by a historian and though contains many facts is also fictitious. Now once again I have misunderstood exactly what means. I thought it was basically a book about salahudin and his life with the odd character saying what a great (or not) guy he was I was really looking forward to reading this book. There are a few books out there regarding Salahuddin but this one seemed like a good start. I was aware before reading that it's a trilogy, this being the first book. I was also aware that it is written by a historian and though contains many facts is also fictitious. Now once again I have misunderstood exactly what means. I thought it was basically a book about salahudin and his life with the odd character saying what a great (or not) guy he was. I didn't quite realise that the second major character in the book was going to be a complete work of fiction. Now here is my problem, I have not a clue which bits of this book are real. I though the odd bit was going to be fictitious not that the odd bit was going to be fact. Actually to clarify this at the end of the book there are a couple of pages that briefly mentions names of those who existed and some of the battles, yet I now presume nearly everything else in the book is fiction. What a shame as I was enoying the 'who fathered whos children' bits. Also it took me until page 307 to realise who Salahuddin was! Yes! The end of the book!! Now call me blonde (i'm not) but I kept waiting for him to appear. In fact when I reached part II of the book and the title said Saladin, I thought "great, we will soon meet him". When I was reaching the end of the book and still hadn't I actually though O.K which of the three books will he actually be in! (I kid you not). Now all of this aside, I did enjoy the book and look forward to reading the next two. However I am hoping when I read my other book 'Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem' I might be a lot wiser. Or if anyone can suggest a really good book about salahuddin then even better!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ndf

    I loved this book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it, so much so that as soon as it was finished I went out and bought the second in the series and read that one too all within the space of about a week or so. I like Jack Hight's easy writing style, he allows you to get into the plot and characters very quickly and doesn't overly fuss about too much detailed descriptive narrative. There's just enough to create atmosphere but not so much that it becomes tedious and interferes with the pace, plot an I loved this book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it, so much so that as soon as it was finished I went out and bought the second in the series and read that one too all within the space of about a week or so. I like Jack Hight's easy writing style, he allows you to get into the plot and characters very quickly and doesn't overly fuss about too much detailed descriptive narrative. There's just enough to create atmosphere but not so much that it becomes tedious and interferes with the pace, plot and characters unlike other historical fiction novelists I could mention - Robyn Young springs to mind. The aspect I most enjoyed about this book and the second in the series was finding out more about the Crusades from the less common Islamic, Arab, Saladin perspective rather than the Christian one which most authors who cover this period focus on. it also exposes quite nicely the real underlying reasons for the Crusades - money and trade rather than the commonly held misbelief of Christian versus Heretic. The book isn't perfect, there's the usual historical inaccuracies, but Hight shows a real understanding of the issues at hand and is obviously very knowledgeable and well researched on this period of history. Minor quibbles aside a right good rollicking read and real page turner for anyone interested in the historical fiction genre and this period of history in particular. I can't wait for the third and final one in the series. Highly recommended with no reservations.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jorge de la Vega

    I do hate it when I forgo writing updates on a book I'm reading, makes it all the harder to review them in the end. Anyway, this is the story of the early years for one of the greatest historical figures to ever live, An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub, known to us westerners simply as Saladin. However, this must be read as a work of fiction, and not a reliable source of information about the character. It has all the plot elements of a medieval historical novel aimed at western sensibilities I do hate it when I forgo writing updates on a book I'm reading, makes it all the harder to review them in the end. Anyway, this is the story of the early years for one of the greatest historical figures to ever live, An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub, known to us westerners simply as Saladin. However, this must be read as a work of fiction, and not a reliable source of information about the character. It has all the plot elements of a medieval historical novel aimed at western sensibilities, and it succeeds in most regards. Yes, the characters may come out a bit thin and one-dimensional, and the prose certainly leaves much to be desired... but still, it serves as an introduction for people who'd like to learn more about Saladin's life and times. Or at the very least will encourage you to read his Wikipedia article. It's also an enjoyable, if slightly rocky, start for a trilogy which, if not 100% historically accurate, will at least prove entertaining and perhaps even a bit enlightening.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vicky

    Here is another historical epoch, based on a story of the Second Crusade and the rise to power of the legendary Muslim leader. In the first book Saladin, the Kurd, is growing up from an insecure boy into the military commander. He befriends a Norman knight, taken into slavery and they became best of friends. There are plans for two more books and the author is definitely making a parallel with the current situation in the Middle East. It is not a very good written book, but the real history behi Here is another historical epoch, based on a story of the Second Crusade and the rise to power of the legendary Muslim leader. In the first book Saladin, the Kurd, is growing up from an insecure boy into the military commander. He befriends a Norman knight, taken into slavery and they became best of friends. There are plans for two more books and the author is definitely making a parallel with the current situation in the Middle East. It is not a very good written book, but the real history behind it is fascinating, Saladin was a remarkable hero and I plan to read the next 2 books as well.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Vinay Badri

    Almost Wilbur Smith-esque in execution, Hight's book is a wonderful piece of storytelling of Saladin's early years. While there is an invented character for sympathy more than anything and to present potentially a balanced view, the book reverses the standard trope by actually having Muslims as the more cultured race as compared to the Christians. Some of the plot points resolve themselves quite conveniently irritating the reader, it's a point to be noted that most might have actually happened. Almost Wilbur Smith-esque in execution, Hight's book is a wonderful piece of storytelling of Saladin's early years. While there is an invented character for sympathy more than anything and to present potentially a balanced view, the book reverses the standard trope by actually having Muslims as the more cultured race as compared to the Christians. Some of the plot points resolve themselves quite conveniently irritating the reader, it's a point to be noted that most might have actually happened.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Frane

    Saladin is a terrific subject for a novel but this isn't it. Although Hight gives lip service to the different customs and mores of another culture, the behavior of the major characters fails to live in that world. The battle scenes are uninspired and worst of all the story relies very heavily on Allah ex machina. Too many coincidences, too many implausible last-minute rescues give it a pulp story without pulp adventure. I won't be bothering with the remaining two books in the series. Saladin is a terrific subject for a novel but this isn't it. Although Hight gives lip service to the different customs and mores of another culture, the behavior of the major characters fails to live in that world. The battle scenes are uninspired and worst of all the story relies very heavily on Allah ex machina. Too many coincidences, too many implausible last-minute rescues give it a pulp story without pulp adventure. I won't be bothering with the remaining two books in the series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jolyon

    Not bad. Very slightly Young Adulty perhaps, but not in a bad way; more like an updated version of Rosemary Sutcliffe or Henry Treece but with more sex (though all done 'in the best possible taste', eg "he shuddered with pleasure as she touched his zib") and more overt violence. I'm reading in tandem with the rather drier (necessarily) biography by Geoffrey Hindley, 'Saladin, Hero of Islam', and they go well together. I have parts 2 and 3 of the trilogy lined up on the Kindle. Not bad. Very slightly Young Adulty perhaps, but not in a bad way; more like an updated version of Rosemary Sutcliffe or Henry Treece but with more sex (though all done 'in the best possible taste', eg "he shuddered with pleasure as she touched his zib") and more overt violence. I'm reading in tandem with the rather drier (necessarily) biography by Geoffrey Hindley, 'Saladin, Hero of Islam', and they go well together. I have parts 2 and 3 of the trilogy lined up on the Kindle.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I first picked up this book because of my interest in Crusades. I really enjoyed Jack's style of writing. Well researched into the period and loved the way he brought the characters to life. After reading this book, I went straight out and bought Siege which again I could not put down and then pre-booked Kingdom and was not disappointed by either book. Cannot wait for the next book I first picked up this book because of my interest in Crusades. I really enjoyed Jack's style of writing. Well researched into the period and loved the way he brought the characters to life. After reading this book, I went straight out and bought Siege which again I could not put down and then pre-booked Kingdom and was not disappointed by either book. Cannot wait for the next book

  30. 4 out of 5

    L.M. Mountford

    This is an interesting read, but when i was reading it, i kept getting the feeling that it was unrealistic. The things the character's do, how they react and what they say, it feels like it's written to lead up to a point. This is an interesting read, but when i was reading it, i kept getting the feeling that it was unrealistic. The things the character's do, how they react and what they say, it feels like it's written to lead up to a point.

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