I haven’t found an up-to-date literature review on the crusader castles in the Holy Land, but the following may be of help.

There is a brief overview in John France, ‘Crusading Warfare’ in Palgrave Advances in the Crusades, ed. Helen J. Nicholson (London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), pp. 60-61.

Key works include:

  • Hugh Kennedy, Crusader Castles (Cambridge, 1995);
  • Malcolm Barber, ‘Frontier warfare in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem: the campaign of Jacob’s Ford 1178–79’, in The Crusades and their Sources: Essays Presented to Bernard Hamilton, ed. John France and William G. Zajac (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998);
  • Denys Pringle, The Red Tower (London, 1986);
  • Denys Pringle, ‘Templar castles between Jaffa and Jerusalem’, in The Military Orders, 2: Welfare and Warfare, ed. Helen Nicholson (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998), pp. 89-109;
  • R. Denys Pringle, ‘Survey of castles in the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem, 1989: preliminary report’, Levant: Journal of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem and the British Institute at Amman for Archaeology and History, 23, (1991), 87-91
  • Denys Pringle, ‘Architecture in the Latin East, 1098-1571’, in The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades, ed. Jonathan Riley-Smith (London: BCA, 1995), pp. 160-183
  • Denys Pringle, ‘Templar castles on the road to the Jordan’, in The Military Orders: Fighting for the Faith and Caring for the Sick, ed. Malcolm Barber (Aldershot: Variorum, 1994), pp. 148-166;
  • Denys Pringle, ‘The castle and lordship of Mirabel’, in Montjoie: Studies in Crusade History in Honour of Hans Eberhard Mayer, ed. Benjamin Z. Kedar, Jonathan Riley-Smith and Rudolf Hiestand (Aldershot: Variorum, 1997), pp. 91-112;
  • R. Denys Pringle, ‘Crusader castles: the first generation’, Fortress: the Castles and Fortifications Quarterly, 1 (1989), 14-25;
  • Denys Pringle, ‘Towers in Crusader Palestine’, in Château Gaillard: Études de Castellologie médievale: XVI Actes du Colloque International tenu à Luxembourg (Caen, 1994);
  • Denys Pringle, ‘Reconstructing the castle of Safad’, Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 17 (1985), 139-49;
  • C. N. Johns, Pilgrim’s Castle (‘Atlit), David’s Tower (Jerusalem) and Qal ‘at ar-Rabal (‘Ajlun), ed. Denys Pringle (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997);
  • Richard P. Harper and Denys Pringle, Belmont Castle: The Excavation of a Crusader Stronghold in the Kingdom of Jerusalem (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000);
  • Ronnie Ellenblum, ‘Frankish Castle-Building in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem’, in Knights of the Holy Land. The Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, ed. S. Rozenberg (Jerusalem: The Israel Museum, 1999), pp. 142-7;
  • Ronnie Ellenblum, ‘Were there borders and borderlines in the Middle Ages? The example of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem’, in Medieval Frontiers: Concepts and Practices, ed. David Abulafia and Nora Berend (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002), pp. 105-119;
  • Ronnie Ellenblum, ‘Frankish and Muslim siege warfare and the construction of Frankish concentric castles’, in Dei gesta per Francos: Etudes sur les croisades dédiées à Jean Richard / Crusade Studies in Honour of Jean Richard, ed. Michel Balard, Benjamin Z. Kedar and Jonathan Riley-Smith (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001), pp. 187-198;
  • Ronnie Ellenblum, ‘Three generations of Frankish castle-building in the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem’, in Autour de la Première Croisade: Actes du Colloque de la Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East (Clermont-Ferrand, 22-25 juin 1995), ed. Michel Balard, Byzantina Sorbonensia, 14 (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonnne, 1996), pp. 517-551;
  • M. Ehrlich, ‘Crusaders’ Castles: the Fourth Generation: Reflections on Frankish Castle-building policy in the thirteenth Century’, Journal of Medieval History, 29 (2003), 85-93;
  • Christopher Marshall, Warfare in the Latin East, 1192-1291 (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1992);
  • Randall Rogers, Latin Siege Warfare in the Twelfth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997);
  • C. Coulson, ‘Cultural Realities and Reappraisals in English Castle-study’, Journal of Medieval History, 22 (1996), 171-207.

Older key works:

  • T. S. R. Boase, Castles and Churches of the Crusading Kingdom (London: Oxford University Press, 1967);
  • Thomas S.R. Boase, ‘Military architecture in the crusader states in Palestine and Syria’, in A History of the Crusades, IV: The Art and Architecture of the Crusader States, ed. Harry W. Hazard, general editor: Kenneth M. Setton (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1977), pp. 140-164, and online
  • Paul Deschamps, Les châteaux des croisés en Terre Sainte (Paris, 1934);
  • A.W. Lawrence, ‘The Castle of Baghras’, in The Cilician kingdom of Armenia, ed. T.S.R. Boase (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1978);
  • A.H.S. Megaw, ‘The arts in Cyprus: military architecture’, in A History of the Crusades, IV: The Art and Architecture of the Crusader States, ed. Harry W. Hazard: general editor Kenneth M. Setton (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1977), pp. 196-207, and online
  • Charles Oman, A History of the Art of War in the Middle Ages, second edition revised and enlarged, 2 vols (London: Methuen, 1924), chapter 5
  • R. C. Smail, Crusading Warfare, 1097-1193, second edn with a new bibliographical introduction by Christopher Marshall (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), introduction, chapter 1 and chapter 7.

See also:

  • Thomas Biller, ‘Le Crac des Chevaliers -- neue Forschungen’, in Château Gaillard, 20: Etudes de castellologie médiévale, ed. P. Ettel, Anne-Marie Flambard Héricher and T.E. McNeill (Caen: Publications du CRAHM, 2002), pp. 51-55
  • Eliot Braun and Zvi Razi, ‘The lost crusader castle of Tiberias’, in The Horns of Hattin: Proceedings of the Second Conference of the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East, Jerusalem and Haifa, 2-6 July 1987, ed. Benjamin Z. Kedar (Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi/Israel Exploration Society/Variorum, 1992), pp. 216-227
  • Daniel Burger, ‘Burgen der Kreuzfahrer im Heiligen Land’, in Die Kreuzzüge: Kein Krieg ist heilig, ed. Hans-Jürgen Kotzur (Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 2004), pp. 116-135
  • Robert Gardiner, ‘Crusader Turkey: the fortifications of Edessa’, Fortress: the Castles and Fortifications Quarterly, 2 (1989), 23-35
  • D. J. Cathcart King, ‘The taking of Le Krak des Chevaliers in 1271’, Antiquity, 23 (1949), 83-92
  • Luigi Marino, ‘The crusader settlement in Petra’, Fortress: the Castles and Fortifications Quarterly, 7 (1990), 3-13
  • Kristian Molin, ‘The non-military functions of crusader fortifications, 1187-circa 1380’, Journal of Medieval History, 23:4 (1997), 367-388
  • Kristian Molin, Unknown Crusader Castles (London and New York: Hambleton and London Press, 2001)
  • Brigitte Porëe, ‘La contribution de l'archéologie à la connaissance du monde des croisades (XII-XIIIe siècle): l'exemple du royaume de Jérusalem’, in Autour de la Première Croisade: Actes du Colloque de la Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East (Clermont-Ferrand, 22-25 juin 1995), ed. Michel Balard, Byzantina Sorbonensia, 14 (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonnne, 1996), pp. 487-515
  • Judith Upton-Ward, ‘The surrender of Gaston and the rule of the Templars’, in The Military Orders: Fighting for the Faith and Caring for the Sick, ed. Malcolm Barber (Aldershot: Variorum, 1994), chapter 18
  • Guido Vannini, Cristina Tonghini and A. Vanni Desideri, ‘“Medieval” Petra and the crusader-Islamic frontier. Archaeological mission of the University of Florence’, in Château Gaillard, 20: Etudes de castellologie médiévale, ed. P. Ettel, Anne-Marie Flambard Héricher and T.E. McNeill (Caen: Publications du CRAHM, 2002), pp. 271-276

Back to FAQs