Jones’ sweeping coverage of a conflict of three centuries’ duration hews to the highest standards of popular history. It is literate, thoroughly engaging, and serious, without condescension towards either its matter or its readers. Jones cites and quotes primary sources only, inserting just the occasional demurrer about such matters as inflated casualty figures in the original histories. While the focus is on the West 'liberating' the Holy Land, Jones cites Muslim sources whenever they sharpen that focus, and he profiles big players on both sides of the fray ... The scope of the Crusades alone encourages regarding their story as an epic, an account that defines the collective spirits of the civilizations that clashed in them.
The author’s choice to make the people doing the action rather than the act as the focus is insightful ... An entertaining and informative look at a potent historical phenomenon whose echoes are still being felt today.
... fascinating ... And lest you hesitate because events that took place a thousand years ago appear irrelevant, rest assured: This is no dry, boring tome. Entering the world of Crusaders is a bit like plunging into the political machinations of the fight for the Iron Throne of Westeros, only in this case all the players and events are real ... even neophytes will feel well armed to appreciate the journey ... Jones’ focus on human characters and his strength as a storyteller are what make Crusaders a success. Vivid descriptions and the use of primary source quotes help readers span the centuries ... In a thought-provoking epilogue, Jones brings his narrative into the present day.