French medieval historian Anne-Marie Eddé separates fact from fiction — reality from myth — as she parses the exploits and accomplishments of Saladin (aka Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub), the Kurdish leader credited with recapturing Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187, defeating Richard the Lionheart, and uniting the Muslim world. From this deeply researched narrative, a picture emerges of a complex man viewed in the context of his era, and the ensuing era that man helped define.