Throughout history the fascination with The Templars has carried many an imagination from Crusades, to the Holy Grail, to their final demise and the circumstances of their persecution. It would be hard to estimate the amount of literature – academic, popular, historical – that has been written about them, and searching for the truth about who these individuals were, what the order stood for, and its impact on history is certainly fascinating and problematic. Did they have vast quantities of treasure, and if so, where did it go?
Grigor Feden has written quite a read. I should say that I am not really into historical fiction as I once was but as I was searching for additional books for my Kindle, I came across his book and downloaded it for later reading. I have just finished, and once I had begun it was hard to put down.
The story centres on a Cistercian Monk, William, who is persuaded to become a Templar for the purpose for tracing his Uncle John, who disappeared some years before as is believed to be in the possession of a gospel written by Jesus, the purpose of which I will not reveal here as I would spoil the story. William’s transition from monk to Templar is difficult and as he is drawn into the closed world of those who seek his assistance to secure this gospel, the conflicts that he confronts are incredibly personal and dynamic.
The book also addresses William’s rise through the ranks of the Templars, identifies and captures the reader’s imagination as to his relationships with his close confidantes, finally dealing with the Templar persecution, and it is suggested, the role of the hand of God in protecting the Scottish Templars from the fate suffered by those who lived on the Continent.
There is also an intriguing twist in the final couple of chapters, which throws a new light on what may have happened to the Templar treasure – but you’ll have to read the book to find out.
This is work of historical fiction and must be read accordingly. It is however a riveting read and I would recommend it to anyone who loves great historical fiction, but also those with an inquiring mind about who the Templars were and what happened to them.