Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Fall of the Templars-Robyn Young

The Fall of the Templars
Robyn Young
Dutton, Jan 22 2009, $25.95
ISBN: 9780525950684

After the crushing defeat at Acre and the failure to take Jerusalem (see BRETHREN and CRUSADE), Knight Templar Will Campbell returns to Europe to find a shocking new world order awaits him. Still depressed over the end of the Christian Kingdoms in the Holy Land, he finds monarchs at least as powerful as the Pope is. At the Templar main chapter in Paris, Will also learns that the French King Philippe is trying to take back the lands that belong to English King Edward I. To achieve his objective, Philippe signed a treaty with Scotland in which he provides them with money and arms so the Scots can occupy King Edward while France regains the occupied lands on the continent.

Although he hates Edward, Will goes to England with two other Templars to meet with the monarch. His worst fears prove real when the Templars agree to fight the Scots; he objects and quits the order as an overt sign of his protestation. He remains in Scotland for years fighting against the English before finally returning to Paris where he hears of a plot by Philippe and his advisers to disband the Templars and seize their treasury and other assets. A betrayal by someone close to him leads to Will’s capture and torture. Friends liberate him and he tries from the shadows to save the Templars.

The third Last Days of the Templar saga covers the period between 1295 and 1314 in an entertaining educational way as the audience obtains a deep look at political and military intrigue in mostly England, but to a lesser degree in France and Scotland. The era is a time of tremendous tumultuous change as secular monarchs and the Papacy fight for control; the kings reject subservience to the Pope while the Holy See proclaims them as heretics. The research is meticulous as the story line is rich with flavoring, but what makes Robin Young’s final entry in her brilliant young adult trilogy so good is the cast especially the beleaguered hero who bring alive the medieval events that changed the world setting up the cradle for the Renaissance.

Harriet Klausner

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