Select one of the keywords
The Templar Knight: Book Two of the Crusades Trilogy    by Jan Guillou order for
Templar Knight
by Jan Guillou
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

Book Two of the Crusades Trilogy by Jan Guillou is as satisfying as the first, The Road to Jerusalem, but it is also frustrating because we really want to know what happens after Arn, the hero of these works, returns to his homeland. Unfortunately, that has to wait for Book Three.

The Templar Knight not only follows Arn during his 20-year service in the Holy Land, but we also learn how his love Cecilia fares in her 20-year banishment to a cloister back home. The unseen cruelty women had to endure under evil prioresses and the ways novitiates found to thwart their authority is as gripping a story as the swashbuckling adventures Arn has.

I think the Crusades have never had such a vivid presentation. All the competing religious and political figures around the time of Saladin and Richard the Lionheart come to life, and it is particularly interesting to follow the discussions about religion and war that Arn has with the Muslims, especially around the Templar Rule, 'When you draw your sword - do not think of who you shall kill. Think of who you shall spare.'

The drive to rule Jerusalem brings together the Templar Knights, Hospitaller Knights, the English, Frankish, Austrian and German warriors in an epic set of battles against the Muslims, which are really very confusing, but which the author is able to make quite clear to us.

In contrast to Book One, which could stand by itself, this book very much looks forward to the resolution that must be found in Book Three, and makes the reader wish all the more that Book Three were readily available. We can only hope that another brilliant translation by Steven T. Murray is in the works.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Historical books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews