The ancient order of the Knights Templar possessed untold wealth and absolute power over kings and popes ... until the Inquisition, when they were wiped from the face of the earth, their hidden riches lost. But now two forces, the U.S. Justice Department and a shadowy zealot, vying for the treasure have learned that it is not at all what they thought it was and its true nature could change the modern world.
here's a brief look:
Starting out in Copenhagen, bookstore owner Cotton Malone (who is a retired goverment agent of some sort) is hanging out having a coffee and sees a purse snatching. The purse belongs to his ex-boss in the government. He goes after her purse and as the guy is about to be caught, he does a very bizarre thing: he jumps from a tower and puts a knife across his throat while on his way down. As Cotton begins to investigate, he finds himself tangled up in a web of intrigue involving the Knights Templar, which leads him to France and Rennes-le-Chateau. He and his group get caught up in secret cryptograms, headstone inscriptions, art-inspired clues, as two rival groups all seek the same thing. You can't write this off as a DaVinci Code ripoff, because frankly, it's much better and packs more of a punch.
Try it...you might enjoy it.
It's not that I'm offended by the iconoclastic conclusions about Christianity and secular worldview of the author--by and large I share them. But well, not only is it been there, done that with Dan Brown (and I thought that book stupid, but at least it wasn't a carbon copy--well, except of Holy Blood, Holy Grail...) but I think I'm also missing the conspiracy gene that allows people to lap up books like these. I rather go by that old purported saying of the mafia--three can keep a secret, if two are dead. I just don't in my heart believe that centuries old societies whether the Templars or the Masons keep secrets more sinister than a identifying handshake. And if they did, I don't think they'd have stayed secret for long if they acted the way they do in this book, like a luminous arrow saying "look here." And this particular book doesn't really give me a "value-added" such as elegant prose or well-rounded characters to love. This came across as a generic, formulaic, Da Vinci Code wannabe only for those who couldn't get enough of that book and having read everything of Dan Brown must have more.
I found the mystery and the quest interesting, as well as the puzzles and complexities of the plot. I did have a few issues with the book otherwise though. I found it extremely frustrating that,. for instance, in the middle of death-defying action, the characters suddenly stop and feel a need to explain or pontificate, or otherwise bring the reader up to speed. Surely the information could have been delivered at better times.
I also thought Berry pounded on several points he made - over and over again. Yes, perhaps a couple of iterations of main plot explanations would have been good, but he repeated some of them too many times for my taste.
The characters were interesting and complex, if not all that well drawn. Importantly for me, I cared about them, which goes a long way for me in any novel. No matter how good the writing or how interesting the plot, if I don't care about the characters, or worse dislike them, I'll dislike the book.
Recommended for those who like mystery thrillers.
What I always find thrilling in a good novel is it's power to enlighten me with knowledge I've never pondered.
Similar in the vein of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, The Templar Legacy offers us a theory from the biblical past in which the current population hasn't given thought.
Tsk Tsk! Spoilers! Read it and be enlightened as I...
I promise there will be head noddings and eye openings...
While this is the first book in the Cotton Malone series, we come into his life a year after he has retired from being an active agent of the US Government. This book lays out the reason for his decision to retire, but leaves the rest of his activities as an agent closed to us, thus heightening the reader’s attraction to Malone through the mystery surrounding his past.
People sensitive to religious beliefs may take objection to some of the underlying premise to what The Templar Legacy really was. Personally, I found it fascinating. The author builds on theories put forth by others and adds elements of his own devising to connect several stories. At the end of the book, Steve Berry gives credit to the inspirations for some of his created bridges. In reading the story, it is indeed difficult to tell where history leaves off and supposition begins.
Overall this is a very good adventure story that, while there are fight scenes and deaths, is light on bloodshed . . . if you discount the historical bloodshed recounted in the narrative. Some of the exposition, while illuminating, seemed to go on a little too long for my taste. That is my main reason for not rating this book higher. If I were comparing this strictly within the Action / Adventure genre, I would add half a star to my overall rating. This book is well worth the read as it is so thought provoking.
Ex-agent Cotton Malone has abandoned the US for Denmark. His ex-boss is in the city and she wants his help keeping herself alive and finding out what exactly her husband's research was all about. One of the problems is sifting out who is the bad guys and who are the good guys. Not everyone is what they appear to be and there are choices that have to be made that could affect the future of the world.
Yeah, it is another Da Vinci code only with more credible characters. However the info dumps are a little overbearing. Those people who enjoyed the Da Vinci Code will probably love this one too.
Berry's book meanders along and the reader begins to wonder where the story is going, but the tale comes together in the last 200 pages or so as it builds toward a fascinating conclusion.
Unlike other recent best-sellers, the history in the Templar Legacy is quite accurate, or at least within the realm of accepted speculation, as it relates to early Christianity, the Templars, and the Rennes-le-Château myths. Just where did Berenger Sauniere, parish priest of Rennes-le-Château really get the wealth to rebuild the church and other buildings, including the Tour Magdala anyway?
Contrary to other reviews, I found Berry's book to be superior to the Da Vinci Code mainly because the Templar Legacy is grounded in history or reasonable speculation.
Recommended for its interesting, plausible solution to the Templar mystery.
Secondary characters Cassiopeia Vitt and Henrik Thorvalsen complement Malone in his efforts to bring about a just end.
Berry, author of three previous "stand alone" novels, has created a winning combination of characters that the reader hopes he continues to develop in future works
This was an okay book. Berry struggles with character development, and seems to be trying to do more here. It's better, but the tidbits he throws out about his characters sometimes seem contrived. The plot is not as fast-moving as one would like for a book in this genre. It's really not until the last 100 pages that things get moving.
As in The Third Secret, Berry once again tackles Christian themes, and once again his handling of it seems pretty 21st century to me. However, The Templar Legacy's big revelation (which I won't give away here), is not quite as "modern" as that of The Third Secret, so it's a bit more believable.
Note: If you strongly believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, this book may not be for you.
This could easily fall into the same trap, but mostly avoids it. It does contain truths, a mix of them, but like many other works of fiction they are truths used to give verisimilitude to a story. And that's what this, a good story.
The dying master of the surviving Templars lays a plan to last beyond his death to hopefully uncover the legacy that was lost when Jacques de Molay was executed, but also to rid the order of a dangerously fanatical but very powerful man so that a more sensible leader may emerge. This involves the widow of a Rennes-le-Chateau "fan" and author, who (fortuitously) is head of an agency that uses special agents and she accidently recruits a recently retired agent. This works well - it gives two characters with good skills to solve parts of the puzzle but with a background well away from the core information so they are reasonably learning stuff anew and letting the author tell us the information for his plot.
The old master dies, the powerful fanatic is elected to promote him, and he determines to find the answer too, laying the ground for confrontations. There are many, often fairly violent, and a trail of dead and injured knights starts to accumulate.
Eventually they find their treasure, there is a final confrontation and a resolution to the story - that I won't tell you because that would be a spoiler.
The only thing I really question is that the dying master has laid an incredibly complex and convoluted plan and expects it to continue smoothly after his death. By and large it does, but it seems an unnecessarily complex plan and fraught with potential disasters, would the leader of a military order really have such a plan as the future of his beloved order? But, despite that, a good read.
Inevitably likened to Da Vinci Code although not sure why, there's a rather different story going on here. This one I rather liked, but then I'm not a devout Christian so people pointing out that the only reason the Church survives is that people explain away the inconsistencies in the bible by faith rather than by saying they're the writings of a group of men trying to gain and keep power - a thesis that is stated and supported pretty much that baldly in this book. If you want a much more literary version of a similar tale, you should be aiming at Foucault's Pendulum. The most obvious, screaming at the author, blunder is the anagram of "Et in arcadia ego" which apparently becomes "I tego arcana dei" or "I guard the secrets of God." Sadly the Latin for I is Ego, not I, the knights of the time were French, so they'd use Je, and actually just tego means "I guard" c.f. "Cogito ergo sum" - I think therefore I am - you don't need the personal pronouns in Latin - but if you do, choose latinate ones!
Its background is the legacy of the Templars, a religious order formed in Acre, Palestine during the Crusades largely by Frenchmen. What became of their treasure when they were eradicated by the French king in 1307? What about their discovery of the apparent story of the resurrection of Jesus, as well as elements of the Gnostic Gospels? These are mysteries of the ages as well as the religious heritage of the West.
Steve Berry elucidates these questions in a far different manner than used by Dan Brown in the da Vinci Code. The answers are pursued in the context of the origins of the Templars, in Provence, France, including elements of the Papal escape to Avignon in the aftermath of the collapse of the Christian efforts to free the Holy Lands from the supposed infidels.
The Templar Legacy is not a history book. It is a thriller. A genre of suspense and intrigue, which are in ample supply in this captivating story.
A possessed pursuer of ancient artifacts, his disbelieving wife an intelligence operative, a son lost in an avalanche seeking the same ends as his apparently suicidal father, and a variety of other fascinating characters all combine to set the stage for a different search for a historic grail. The perilous antiquities that so dominate the Indiana Jones sagas are plainly in evidence in the denouement.
In the end, there are the strains of romance that could blossom in a sequel in a far different vein than James Bond and his girls. A former intelligence operative and a wealthy, stealthy follower of Islam?
This book is one of the recent spate of DaVinci Code-alikes that have hit the bookshelves. Now, I have to say that I wasn't too enamoured of Dan Brown's controversial tale, mostly because I thought Robert Langdon was incredibly boring, and that the French police officer was a total stereotype. I liked Templar Legacy much, much more...better characters, better pacing, better everything.
Our protagonists, Cotton Malone and Stephanie Nelle, find themselves smack in the middle of another gosh-darn conspiracy that will reveal a shocking historical truth intended to rock the foundations of the known world. Stephanie's dead husband, Lars, spent most of their marriage searching for the lost treasure of the Knights Templar. Seven years after his death, Stephanie receives his journal, sent anonymously through the mail, and decides she must have closure. So, she pulls up stakes from her high level government job, and flies to Copenhagen, where she stirs up a whole bunch of trouble. Teaming up with former intelligence officer turned bookshop owner Cotton Malone (maybe I'm wrong, but I really do think this is the name of the sports announcer played by Gary Cole in the movie Dodgeball), the two follow clues supposedly leading to the Great Devise -- the legendary Templar treasure hidden in the 14th century as the Knights were being exterminated by French royalty. The two are challenged by Raymond deRoquefort, Marshal, then Master, of the current, hidden Knights. Twists and turns abound as Cotton and Stephanie race against time to discover the Great Devise and foil the evil deRoquefort's plans of world domination.
Yep. It's a page-turner all right. Actually, one of the things I liked best about this book is the short sections within the chapters. There wasn't that whole one-chapter-about-Raymond, one-chapter-about-Stephanie thing going on. I could pick the book up, read for about 5 minutes, put it down to check dinner, change the laundry over, or help a patron and then pick it right back up without missing a beat. And the story itself was full of surprises. I sure didn't see the twists coming at the end.
The setting is almost identical to that in The Labyrinth by Kate Mosse -- Carcasonne and other areas of France -- and there are echoes of the same ancient legends in both books. Templar is a much better read, however. Definitely pick it up and give it a shot.
Highly religious people may be offended by some of the aspects of this story, but I found fascinating in the same way as I enjoyed The Da Vinci Code.
In total, it was an entertaining adventure worthy of James Bond while and at the same time extremely disquieting in its theories.
As well as being an exiciting and fast-paced tale, the author leaves us with a bit of food for thought at the end as the great secret of the Templars is revealed. An interesting slant to a book typical of its genre.
The Templar Legacy is easy to read and will entertain anyone who enjoys this type of historical thriller. Ultimately, it's more than the sum of its parts and one of the best of its kind.