In accordance to the FTC guidelines, I must state that I make no monetary gains from my reviews or endorsements here on Confessions of a Literary Persuasion. All books I review are either borrowed, purchased by me, given as a gift, won, or received in exchange for my honest review of the book in question.

12 February, 2007

Book Review: The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury

Read and Reviewed for Frontstreet Reviews

Martin of Carmaux, a young Templar knight, flees the city of Acre after the Muslims take the last city held by the Christian knights in 1291. He joins his mentor Aimard of Villiers on a mission to deliver a chest for the dying Grand Master of the Templar’s order. Their ship, the Falcon Temple, is lost in a massive storm, and the mysterious chest never delivered.

In current day New York City, Hundreds of attendees are attending the opening, of an exhibit of art on loan from the Vatican, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Those attendees become witnesses to four men dressed in knight garb ride horses into the museum and rob the exhibit. Archeologist Tess happened to be close enough to witness one of the horseman steal a strange mechanical device, and hear the reverent Latin phrase that the horseman uttered as he picked it up. Tess brings up the connection between the garb the horsemen were wearing and the phrase the one horseman uttered with the Templar Order from the 14th century to the FBI team investigating the theft.

Sean Reilly is an FBI agent working on the case. He is joined by his partner Nick Aparo, and an envoy from the Vatican, Monsignor De Anglais. As three of the horsemen turn up dead, it becomes apparent how important the stolen device is Tess becomes more than just a witness as her experience as both a research and field archeologist becomes a helpful addition to the search team. Tess and Reilly are drawn out on a chase that takes them through parts of New York City, into the desolate mountains of Turkey, and remote islands of Greece. Will they be able to catch up with the fourth horseman, and find the mysterious lost treasure of the Templar?

Raymond Khoury’s first novel, The Last Templar is an action packed thriller. He successfully pulls off the telling of two tales, the current day treasure chase and the interspersed tale of the knight Martin as he struggles to escape Acre and make his way to France. I was impressed with the complexity of the plot, and the thought provoking look that it gave towards faith’s role in the modern world and faith versus historical fact. I was a bit leery going into The Last Templar as I had heard it compared to The Da Vince code, which I disliked intensely when I read it last year. However, I was surprised by a thought invoking tale with characters that popped off of the pages and into my imagination. I will be waiting eagerly for Khoury’s next novel to be released later this year.


karen! said...

Happy Debut a Debut week!
I have this one on my list as well ;)

Rashenbo said...

Sounds interesting! :) I am glad you clarified it's comparison to the DaVinci code... I'm not sure I could read another one like it right now... :)

Thank you for participating in the Debut A Debut contest!

Good luck!

nimrodiel said...

Karen: with as similar tastes in Literature as we've had in the past, I think you will enjoy it when you get a chance to pick it up.

Rashenbo: I almost threw The Da Vince Code out the window while reading it. I'm still not quite sure why it made it to such a popular state of recomendation.

I had fun with the debut, thanks for helping to come up with such a great idea :)

littlebirdblue said...

I never read Da Vinci Code, but I was so bored by the film, I can't imagine getting excited over the book.

But page-popping characters totally work for me! Thanks for reviewing.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hello, my friend Nim! I'd love to offer you congratulations for winning a prize I'd have liked to run off with -- an AUDIO copy (CD) of my friend Lila Shaara's Every Secret Thing.

As I have your contact information, I'll pass it along to Lila.

From all of us at West of Mars, Writing Aspirations, and Debut a Debut, congratulations and thanks for helping make this first contest such a huge success. Hope you'll join us for future contests.