Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Youngest Templar

Storyline - Book 1 - Keeper of the Grail - Tristan is an orphan with no knowledge of his past living at St. Alban's when a group of Templars stay for the night and one of them asks him to be his squire. When he accepts, Tristan is in for training and fighting in the Third Crusade in the Holy Land with Richard III. But, when the town they are in is under siege and about to be taken, Tristan's knight, Sir Thomas, sends him on one last duty. He entrusts to him the Holy Grail and tells him to deliver it to Scotland. On his way, Tristan meets up with an archer, Robard Hode, and an assassin, Maryam, who help him. He also has an enemy on his trail, Sir Hugh, who wants the Grail. At any cost.

Book 2 - Trail of Fate - Tristan washes up on the shores of France and meets a group of Cathars, and their leader Celia, who are in trouble with some powerful men. Tristan has to decide if he can help them and still guard the Grail. Especially with Sir Hugh on his trail and a new enemy lurking a head.

Book 3 - Orphan of Destiny - England at last! This should be easy for the three travelers, right? No. England is under heavy taxes by Prince John who is ruling the kingdom. Sir Hugh is still on the trail. And, if that isn't enough, Tristan is hurt. On their way, they are met with even more difficulties, such as the Sheriff of Nottingham who is taxing Robard's home harshly and hurting its people. Will they ever make it to there destination in Scotland with all the things standing in the way ansd Sir Hugh appearing at every corner to take the Grail? And will the answers to Tristan's birth and family be answered when everyone seems to know about it but him?

Author - Michael P. Spradlin

Age Group - 12 and up

Positive - "Honor, duty, and sacrifice" (Orphan of Destiny, Chap. 38, Pg. 252) is not only the Templar morals but also the theme with in the series. When Tristan and Robard are attacked by the Assassins and one gets hurt, Robard has every intention of killing him but Tristan is willing to sacrifice himself to save a defenseless man, even one who just tried to kill him. Tristan stays true to his knight and friends, even when they go and get themselves in trouble. Tristan is willing to give any thing for the safety of his friends. Robard is a caring and protective character even with his hot head and vengeful spirit, who would do anything for his friends. Robard has a chance to kill the man he feels killed his father but lets him go. Maryam is the voice of reason and can get to what is troubling someone. She also is someone they group can depend on is sticky situations and is willing to listen and give support when needed. The dog, Angel, is a pretty neat character as well.

Negative - Robard is very hot headed and vengeful. He tries to kill someone who just tried to kill him and Tristan even though they are unarmed and defenseless. He also has every intention to kill the man he feels responsible for killing his father and making his mother's life difficult. Tristan has had enough of Sir Hugh and him endangering his friends and feels the only way to get the knight to stop is to kill him. Tristan kills in rage and anger once. There were some sware words in book two.

Finish - A series I heartily enjoyed over the last couple of years as they came out one by one. I also enjoyed the endings (cliffhangers). I also like the end of this series which is always an important thing for me and, if any more stories can be told about Tristan and his friends, I would love to read them. Sword fights, chase scenes, and good writing and morals bring this book together for a great read which will make you want to know what happens next. Recommend to anyone who loves adventure and/or books placed in a historical setting. A great series worth the time to read.

Links - Learn more about the series at: http://theyoungesttemplar.com/

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