In 2010, a parcel bomb was sent from Yemen by an al-Qaeda operative with the intention of blowing up a plane over America. The device was intercepted before the plan could be put into action, but what puzzled investigators was the name of the person to whom the parcel was addressed: Reynald de Chatillon - a man who died 800 years ago. But who was he and why was he chosen above all others? 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 pre-eminent figure in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem - and one of the most reviled characters in Islamic history. In the West, Reynald has long been considered a minor player in the Crusades and is often dismissed as having been a bloodthirsty maniac. Tales of his elaborate torture of prisoners and his pursuit of reckless wars against friends and foe alike have coloured Reynald's reputation.
However, by using contemporary documents and original research, Jeffrey Lee overturns this popular perception and reveals him to be an influential and powerful leader, whose actions in the Middle East had a far-reaching impact that endures to this day. In telling his epic story, God's Wolf not only restores Reynald to his rightful position in history but also highlights how the legacy of the Crusades is still very much alive.
Lee brings a blockbuster sensibility to this slice of 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 enemies in honey before chaining them to 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 -- Dan Jones Sunday Times Like Reynald's career, Lee's book is packed with enjoyably full-blooded episodes and details... God's Wolf is an often refreshing... and always entertaining book. -- Minoo Dinshaw Spectator A swashbuckling yet scholarly biography of the infamous 12th-century crusader Reynald de Chatillon. -- Sebastian Shakespeare Tatler A cracking read -- Peter Frankopan, author of THE SILK ROADS 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 in Princeton 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. Carol Hillenbrand, Professor of Islamic History, University of Edinburgh
Jeffrey Lee has a First in Arabic and Islamic History from Oxford and as an award-winning broadcast journalist, he reported and produced TV news and current affairs in more than thirty countries. He lives in London.