I love monsters. I love monster books. My first introduction to AD&D was via the 1st ed Monster Manual and I was instantly hooked. So these tomes always have a special place in my heart.
Castles & Crusades actually has a number of monster books. Each has a slightly different focus.
The Castles & Crusades Monster stat block is a nice combination of Basic's simplicity, 1st AD&D's comprehensiveness, and some 3.x style rules. Saves are simple (Physical, Mental or both), AC is ascending and there is a "Challenge Rating" stat and XP all factored in. Honestly it really is a synthesis of the best of D&D. Grabbing a monster from another source and converting on the fly really could not be easier.
Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure
This book though is more than just a monster book, all the treasure and magic items (normally found in a Game Master's book) are here. This is a nice feature really. One place to have your encounter information.
This really is a must have book for any C&C fan. 128 pages and full of everything you need.
Castles & Crusades Of Gods & Monsters
The myths are well represented, though there are a few oddities. The Greek and Roman myths are separate and the demi-human myths could have been left out, but that being said, the book is top notch. There is also a section the gods and monsters of the C&C Campaign world of Aihrde. I am particularily happy about the inclusion of the Celtic myths since that is what I am most likely to use.
I did like all the new spells for clerics of the various gods. That was a good touch. Of course there are also plenty of new magic items.
Castles & Crusades Classic Monsters The Manual
It is a fantastic edition to my C&C collection and I am very glad I bought it.
Actually the more I have it, the more I find myself turning to it.
The nicest feature of this book is the inclusion of a DMG style index of the monster stats from here and from Monsters & Treasure. So now hundreds of monsters are at your finger tips.
If there is ever a "Second Edition" of C&C, I'd like to see this book and Monsters & Treasure combined into one volume.
Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure of Aihrde
Of course this book has more, a lot more, than just that.
I did enjoy all the new dragons and like it's "parent" book, this book has a bunch of new treasure.
Some of the monsters are world specific, but nothing that can't be worked around. In truth most of these monsters are all brand new to me and that is worth the price of the book alone. Even most of the demons, devils and dragons are new. Likewise for the treasure.