The Templar Magician by Paul Doherty
About This Book:
Murder and mayhem set at the time of the secretive Templar Order.Source: Info in the About This Book was taken from the author's amazon astore at http://astore.amazon.co.uk/paulcdohertyc-21/detail/0755354559 on 05/12/09.
The year is 1152, and Jerusalem is still in the hands of the Crusaders, although the lofty ideals of before have now been replaced by subtle power-play. Meanwhile, in England, King Stephen is waging bloody war against Henry Fitzempress. The Templar Order, now fifty years old, is a wealthy power, glittering with tempting riches. Against this background of bloodshed, Robert de Payens, grandson of Eleanor, one of the co-founders of the Temple, finds himself caught up in a murder mystery when Raymond, Count of Tripoli, is brutally assassinated. Who would have wanted to murder Raymond, and is it possible that the answer may lie within the hallowed ranks of the Templar Order itself?
This book is rich with historical detail about the rise of the Knights Templar in England. For those who enjoy studying this era, Doherty’s attention to historical accuracy will be appreciated; however, the novel as a story left a bit to be desired. I found the main character, Edmund de Payens, frustrating in his indecisiveness and naiveté and had trouble caring for him or about what happened to him.
The novel is initially set in Outremer (Palestine), the headquarters of the Templars and moves to various places in England. Although, again full of historical detail, the constant change of setting is tedious rather than pacey. The plot is full of intrigues within intrigues which frankly made it confusing rather than interesting. I had figured out who the villains were well before the main character and found myself cross with him for being too dense to see who it was.
I would recommend The Templar Magician to anyone with an interest in the era of the Knights Templar and the Crusades as it is rich with historical detail and peopled with figures from the past. As a novel, I found it very easy to put down.