God's Wolf

The Life of the Most Notorious of all Crusaders, Scourge of Saladin

Jeffrey Lee (Author)


“[Jeffrey Lee] brings a blockbuster sensibility to this slice of the 12th century Levant.”—Dan Jones, Sunday Times (UK)

In a 2010 terrorist plot, Al-Qaeda hid a bomb in a FedEx shipment addressed to a man who had been dead for 800 years.

Born in twelfth-century France and bred for violence, Reynald de Chatillon was a young knight who joined the Second Crusade and rose through the ranks to become the preeminent figure in the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, chief foe of the Muslim leader Saladin, and one of the most reviled characters in Islamic history. In the West, Reynald has long been considered a minor player in the crusading saga, and is often dismissed as a bloodthirsty maniac who brought disaster on his fellow crusaders. However, by using contemporary documents and original research, Jeffrey Lee overturns this popular perception and questions other prejudices about the crusades that underlie modern misunderstandings of the Middle East.

God’s Wolf shows how the crusader kingdom was brought down by a treacherous internal faction, rather than by Reynald’s belligerence. In fact, despite Reynald’s brutality, Lee argues that he was a strong military leader and an effective statesman, whose actions in the Middle East had a far-reaching impact that endures to this day.

An epic saga set in the midst of a violent clash of civilizations, God’s Wolf is the fascinating story of an exceptional crusader and a provocative reinterpretation of the crusading era.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • August 2017
  • ISBN 978-0-393-60969-1
  • 6.5 × 9.6 in / 336 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth and the European Union.

Endorsements & Reviews

“[Jeffrey Lee] brings a blockbuster sensibility to this slice of the 12th-century Levant, dropping his man in the mountains of the Holy Land and letting him go to work, swinging swords, wooing princesses, toadying to emperors and smearing his enemies in honey before chaining them to the battlements… Reynald was a crusader on steroids: audacious, adventurous and violent. He earned his reputation, and like him or loathe him, his story is worth retelling, more than eight centuries on.” — Dan Jones, The Sunday Times (UK)

“Always entertaining… There is nothing saintly, dull or life-denying about God’s Wolf. Reynald’s deliberate excesses are lovingly delineated; the shock value that was his hallmark runs undiluted through its easy and personal chronology… Reynald…is one of those giants of history who may repel but can never be forgotten.” — Minoo Dinshaw, The Spectator (UK)

“A cracking read.” — Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads

“A swashbuckling yet scholarly biography of the infamous 12th-century crusader Reynald de Chatillon.” — Sebastian Shakespeare, Tatler

God’s Wolf is well written, well informed, and exciting; in fact, it hooked me in straightaway… It is by far the liveliest work I’ve read on the subject.” — Patricia Crone, former professor of Islamic history, Institute for Advanced Study

God’s Wolf is enormously readable. It is written in a very lively style and with vigour and pace… This is a very exciting book, both scholarly and at the same time accessible to a wider readership.” — Carole Hillenbrand, professor of Islamic history, University of Edinburgh

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