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Keeper of the Grail (The Youngest Templar, Book 1) Paperback – September 17, 2009


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Keeper of the Grail (The Youngest Templar, Book 1) + Trail of Fate: Book 2 (The Youngest Templar) + Orphan of Destiny: Book 3 (The Youngest Templar)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 6
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (September 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142414611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142414613
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–9—Spradlin has reworked familiar elements into a fast-paced historical adventure with a touch of fantasy. Taken on as a squire by a well-regarded Templar knight, 14-year-old Tristan goes with King Richard's crusade to the Holy Land. A foundling, he gleans from others, especially from an enemy he makes among the Templars, that his origins are something special. Quickly acquiring sword skills, he participates in a battle at Acre, even coming to the aid of the King. Later on, he is entrusted with the Holy Grail and instructed to take it to Scotland. On his way home he is attacked and later befriended first by one of the King's archers, Robard Hode, and then by a Saracen assassin who turns out to be a maid, Maryam. While the events may test credulity, the first-person narrative carries readers along before dumping Tristan into the Mediterranean Sea for a rather abrupt ending. Although it seems obvious that all will survive, readers may want to wait until the second book is available, promised in fall 2009, before beginning this exciting journey.—Kathleen Isaacs, Towson University, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Left as a baby at a monastery, Tristan has spent the last 14 years working with the gentle monks and pondering his identity. Facts surrounding his arrival there seem to indicate he is of noble birth. Yet even these suspicions in no way prepare him for what’s in store with the arrival of Sir Thomas and a group of Knights Templar on their way to the Holy Land. In short order, Thomas makes Tristan his squire, Tristan makes an enemy of malevolent Sir Hugh, and the warriors, with Tristan now among their ranks, head to the Saracen stronghold of Acre. Let the fighting begin! And so it does, with much of the book’s second half taken up with battles, skirmishes, and ambushes. The deadly action, uncompromising in many of its descriptions, may take center stage, but Spradlin smartly doesn’t neglect story. Tristan is given an immense challenge and responsibility and meets new friends, whose names clever readers will find familiar. The stirring saga ends with a true cliff-hanger, priming fans for the next installment. Grades 5-8. --Ilene Cooper --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Michael P. Spradlin is the author of more than a dozen books for children, some of which have actually been published. He grew up in a small town in Michigan not far from the Indiana border, which may explain his irrational fear of Hoosiers. (Both the inhabitants of the state of Indiana and the movie starring Gene Hackman).

Surrounded by books in his formative years, he grew up loving to read, imagining himself the hero of numerous epic battles and indulging in his favorite pastime, which was smuggling fireworks across the Ohio border so that he could blow up his collection of Plastic Green Army Men and Matchbox Cars.

Michael is the author The Youngest Templar trilogy, The Spy Goddess series, and several picture books including the award winning Daniel Boone's Great Escape.

When not writing, he enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with his family and worrying over the fact that he really should be writing instead of doing other stuff. He lives in Michigan with his wife Kelly, son Michael, daughter Rachel and two dogs Willow and Apollo

Customer Reviews

It was a fast read and it ends on a cliffhanger.
Mercedes
If you have young readers in your household (or just want to re-experience the joys of summer reading as a kid again), I recommend this book highly.
Baelmyrrdn
She finished them all in a week....Sure am glad she likes to read..
Millie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on May 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Gold Star Award Winner!

KEEPER OF THE GRAIL is the beginning of a new series by Michael P. Spradlin. Readers might think that an adventure set in 1191 A.D. would be dry, historical reading, but in this case those readers would be totally wrong. Tristan's adventures are anything but dry. Though they may be historical at times, they are packed with one exciting event after another.

An orphan raised by a group of monks, Tristan never knew his parents or anything of his history. Now he is faced with taking his vows and remaining at the monastery forever or finding his true calling elsewhere. The decision is made for him one day with the arrival of a group of men on horseback.

A regiment of the Knights of the Templar come to the monastery seeking a place to rest themselves and their horses. Tristan is sent to the stables to tend to the horses and that task turns his life upside down. One of the knights, Sir Thomas, approaches Tristan with an offer. He has recently lost his personal squire and is in search of a replacement. Seeing how skillfully Tristan handles the horses, he invites the boy to join the regiment.

Although Tristan is reluctant to leave the monks and the only place he has ever called home, he recognizes this as the chance of a lifetime and accepts the position. Suddenly he finds himself headed off with some of the world's most famous knights to fight in the Crusades.

Imagine the excitement of a young boy actually meeting the king, King Richard the Lionheart, and learning that he is about to join him in battle. What follows takes Tristan from England to the Holy Land into a battle to save the city of Acre. There are bloody battles with plenty of flying arrows and clashing broadswords as the knights attempt to defend the King's lands.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on September 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
Cistercian monks have raised the orphan Tristan with love, but in 1191 at almost fifteen years old, he is given the choice of accompanying Knight Templar Sir Thomas as he joins the Third Crusade. Tristan agrees to go with the knight to Outreamer in God's name. Once in the Holy Land, Richard the Lionhearted and Templar Knight Sir Hugh act hostile towards the teen.

In the Holy Land, Tristan participates in the Battle of Acre. However, even at rest he finds Saracens seem to single him out for assassination though Tristan has no idea why they and bandits seek out a nonentity like him. He is fortunate that Robard Hode of Sherwood saves his life from a Saracen assassin Maryam the Maid even as he becomes the bearer of the holiest of relics, which makes him even more of a target from all sides of the dispute.

The first Youngest Templar middle school medieval thriller with hints of fantasy especially the climax is an exciting action-packed tale starring an intriguing young teen protagonist who does not receive a hero's welcome in the Holy Land from either side of the conflict. The story line is fast-paced while also having obvious ties to the modern day Middle East scenario as well as to Robin Hood and the title artifact. Tweeners will root for Tristan (no commentary as to his name) as he struggles with survival while protecting the relic with his life but also wondering why his alleged allies as much as his adversaries want him dead.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on September 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
KEEPER OF THE GRAIL is the beginning of a new series by Michael P. Spradlin. Readers might think that an adventure set in 1191 A.D. would be dry, historical reading, but in this case those readers would be totally wrong. Tristan's adventures are anything but dry. Though they may be historical at times, they are packed with one exciting event after another.

An orphan raised by a group of monks, Tristan never knew his parents or anything of his history. Now he is faced with taking his vows and remaining at the monastery forever or finding his true calling elsewhere. The decision is made for him one day with the arrival of a group of men on horseback.

A regiment of the Knights of the Templar come to the monastery seeking a place to rest themselves and their horses. Tristan is sent to the stables to tend to the horses and that task turns his life upside down. One of the knights, Sir Thomas, approaches Tristan with an offer. He has recently lost his personal squire and is in search of a replacement. Seeing how skillfully Tristan handles the horses, he invites the boy to join the regiment.

Although Tristan is reluctant to leave the monks and the only place he has ever called home, he recognizes this as the chance of a lifetime and accepts the position. Suddenly he finds himself headed off with some of the world's most famous knights to fight in the Crusades.

Imagine the excitement of a young boy actually meeting the king, King Richard the Lionheart, and learning that he is about to join him in battle. What follows takes Tristan from England to the Holy Land into a battle to save the city of Acre. There are bloody battles with plenty of flying arrows and clashing broadswords as the knights attempt to defend the King's lands.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Baelmyrrdn on May 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When I was (finally!) able to get a copy of this book to review, I found it to be well worth the wait. The first in a series, the "Youngest Templar" chronicles the adventures of a 14-year-old orphan named Tristan and his adventures among the legendary Knights Templar.

Although the book falls in the "young adult/fantasy" book genre, there is much to commend it for readers of all ages. From the prologue to the last chapter, the adventures of the story's young protagonist will enthall boys and girls alike. If you have young readers in your household (or just want to re-experience the joys of summer reading as a kid again), I recommend this book highly.
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