Gr 7 Up-The value of this book is not so much its depictions of battles, but rather of the men who came to symbolize the reasons for the struggle. Two introductory chapters describe the First and Second Crusades and are worthwhile in themselves for readers needing a brief survey of how these holy wars were planned and carried out. Crompton does not minimize the savagery of the Christian knights who, though oath bound to protect the weak, carried out an unprecedented slaughter of civilians when they took Jerusalem in 1099. By contrast, when Saladin retook the city in 1187, he allowed the majority of the Christian population to be ransomed. Richard, as described here, is not what one would consider the epitome of knightly chivalry. After taking the city of Acre, he oversaw the massacre of nearly 3000 civilian prisoners. The brief bibliography does not include Web sites. Some excellent color and black-and-white illustrations are included, but there are very few detailed maps.-David Pauli, Hillsboro Public Library, OR Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.