“Books of every shape, size, and color consumed the black lacquered shelves.”
This was a fun, adventure-filled thriller full of history about the Knights Templar, or as they called themselves, Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon. They were a Catholic military order founded around 1119 until around 1312.
“The Templars were closely tied to the Crusades; when the Holy Land was lost, support for the order faded. Rumours about the Templars’ secret initiation ceremony created distrust, and King Philip IV of France—deeply in debt to the order—took advantage of the situation to gain control over them. In 1307, he had many of the order’s members in France arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, and burned at the stake. Pope Clement V disbanded the order in 1312 under pressure from King Philip.”
During the time period they were active, they were the wealthiest and most powerful group, which grew rapidly. Their abrupt disbanding led to speculation and legend, which is where this book comes in. It plays on the legacy and legend of the Templars, and this now shadowy group of Knights are hunting for the secrets that have been passed down from master to master. Cotton Malone, the protagonist of the story, is a retired top operative of the U.S. Justice Department who is drawn back into the cloak-and-dagger world when his former boss, Stephanie Nelle, is violently robbed.
I thought the story was very well written (although it did drag at times) and was excellently researched. I felt like I was learning a lot about history, but at the same time, taken on this thrilling, shadowy, conspiracy -filled world. The story switches views several times, between Cotton, Raymond de Roquefort (the villain of the story), as well as few other characters, but the story never lost track with the different POVs. If you love Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, National Treasure, or any story filled with both history and adventure, you will love this book!