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Templar Hardcover – July 9, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: First Second (July 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596433930
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596433939
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The creative trio of Mechner, Pham, and Puvilland got their high-adventure story rolling with Solomon’s Thieves (2010). What wasn’t apparent in that first volume of the planned trilogy was how deeply into historically weighty territory the story would cut. Happily, the whole story has been collapsed into one hearty, hefty tome that includes the already published Solomon’s Thieves and the rest of the tale. The historical framework concerns the fall of the Knights Templar after the king of France, with the insidious councilor Nogaret tugging his ear, hurls accusations of sodomy, blasphemy, and worse at the order. The knights are imprisoned and put on trial before a flimsy commission of bishops, but what of the fabled horde of treasure they brought back from the Crusades? A band of Templars-in-hiding race against Nogaret’s machinations and brutal manipulations to save the treasure and maybe even the good name of their order. But, as anyone versed in the history of Jacques de Molay, the last grand master, will know, even the pope, trapped in a political vise, is unable to save the holy knights from doom. The torture the men are put to, the lies they are broken by, and their fate at the stake constitutes a searing, sobering counterweight to the story’s high-wire derring-do and jovial camaraderie. Add to all that a nifty Ocean’s Eleven–style caper, outstanding artwork, and enough romance to get the heart invested, and you have an epic adventure comic for the ages. --Ian Chipman

Review

"With Templar, Jordan Mechner combines true flair for classic adventure with a firm grasp of medieval history, for an unforgettable tale of love, gold and glory. And Pham and Puvilland bring their strong individual style to bear on 14th century France with gorgeous art that is both clean and lush at the same time. Put them together and you've got yourself a winner. Michael Curtiz should have been so lucky."—David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, creators of HBO's "Game of Thrones"

 

"The creative trio of Mechner, Pham, and Puvilland got their high-adventure story rolling with Solomon’s Thieves (2010). What wasn’t apparent in that first volume of the planned trilogy was how deeply into historically weighty territory the story would cut . . . [That history] constitutes a searing, sobering counterweight to the story’s high-wire derring-do and jovial camaraderie. Add to all that a nifty Ocean’s Eleven–style caper, outstanding artwork, and enough romance to get the heart invested, and you have an epic adventure comic for the ages."—Booklist (starred review)

 

"A wholly engaging and entertaining mix of medieval history, political intrigue, and cinematic thrills in a swashbuckling heist adventure . . . Mechner’s (Prince of Persia) tight plot never misses a beat, and the book is a definite page-turner. His passion for the subject is reflected in the story’s adherence to actual events and settings, ably visualized by husband-and-wife illustrators Pham and Puvilland, whose art lends itself well to the stirring narrative. It’s a rollicking good time and a real gem of a book, well worth the wait and price."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 

"A 480-page graphic novel and one of the most perfect representations of what the term means . . . The enormous work has a strong protagonist with complex and even conflicting goals, a wealth of secondary characters with their own goals and stories, and a rich background in a troubled world. It even comes with a selected bibliography and a discussion of further reading. Not many other graphic novels go to that length. Mechner gives a human face to one of the most whispered-about and objectified organizations in Western history: the Knights Templar."—Jeff Provine, BlogCritics.org

 

 

 “Templar is a beautifully executed historical thriller written by famed game designer Jordan Mechner (who created Prince of Persia) and drawn by Leuyen Pham and Alex Puvilland . . .  A classic caper story filled with glorious and horrible swordfights, skullduggery, torture, romance, banditry, piety, bravery and treachery. I came to this not knowing much about the Templars and caring about them even less, but found that once I picked the (massive) book up, I couldn’t put it down. This is some great and exciting storytelling." —Cory Doctorow (author of Homeland and Little Brother)

 

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
75%
4 star
20%
3 star
5%
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See all 20 customer reviews
This would actually make a pretty good film.
Michael K. Smith
The art is impressive and colorful, the story is captivating and the characters lovable.
Matt J E
Templar is one of the best historical graphic novels I've ever read.
Beth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kinx's Book Nook on July 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
It is going to be very difficult to find the words to describe how many I love this book; but, I'm going to try. Everything about this book is amazing. From the story, to the characters, and to the powerful images, this is a perfect book. I found it to be incredibly rich in historical detail, both in the story and the illustrations. From the first page of the forward where Jordan Mechner compares the Knights Templar to Jedi Knights, I knew I was hooked.. After reading that, I could not put it down!

The story in Templar is very intense and fast-paced. You are watching men who have been tortured and forced to renounce everything they believe trying to survive with their honor. Mechner, Pham and Puvilland were able to capture the absolute horror of the demise of the Knights Templar. The illustrations powerfully depicted how the knights were forced to confess their alleged crimes through torture. The images are subtle but at the same time horrifying.

Throughout Templar, these surviving knights are struggling to redeem themselves to their beloved Order. The main character, Martin, continued to see ghostly, fallen knights that would lead him to his salvation. I found those images very powerful.

Templar is not all violence and gore. There is humor and a bit of romance as well. There were many times I was laughing at loud at some of the antics of the knights. I liked the use of humor to lessen some of foulness surrounding the characters. Along with the romance, there is a bit of a love triangle which also lessens the dark storyline. It is a very bittersweet love story.

Templar is such a unique read. I had never seen historical fiction in the graphic novel format. It was a truly amazing reading experience. I loved every page!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andy Shuping on July 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The time of the Templar Knights is ending, as the King of France and his servants, have conspired to destroy the order. The Pope, left with little choice, bows to pressure and allows the King to condemn the Templars' for heresy...and orders them all to be executed. But a handful of the Templar Knights, including Martin, escape and seek to regain the hidden treasure of the Templar Knights and keep it out of the hands of the King. They must band together and fight through sewers, possible romances, and the warriors of the King if they hope to survive. And only time will tell if they will make it.

Even though this is a long book (probably the longest graphic novel I've seen in awhile), this is an exciting action packed story. It takes a little bit to get into the story, as the author delves into some of the history of the knights and what happened to the order, but then...then the action starts and the story takes off like a rocket and you don't want to let go. This is the type of story has a little bit of something for everyone, from romance to adventure to fighting to knights...mostly knights, but still it's fun. Mechner does an excellent job of creating characters that we feel proud to know and follow, that we want to know more about, and that we want to see them live to fight another day.

The illustrations in this book are lavish and gorgeous, with beautiful attention to detail. The texture of the cloth that the knights and others wear, the scruff of their beard, the depth to the buildings of France with the arches and columns...reading this book and looking at the art is like watching a really good animated movie. Some of my favorite scenes in the book are the action sequences with the galloping of the horses and the knights fighting. It's wonderful.

This is an action packed story that high school reader and up will enjoy. I give the book 4 out of 5 stars.

ARC provided by Gina at FirstSecond
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Vitaly Nagornykh on July 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent novel. It avoids the typical Templar World-Destroying Conspiracy vibe by focusing on relatively unimportant members of the order, suddenly left without their whole base of existence. Characters are distinct if a bit cliched, their interactions are interesting to watch regardless, and the whole medieval heist aspect is very interesting. Plus, you don`t see many novels set in medieval times anyway, right?

Overall, I think I`m not the first one to say that this story would look good on the big screen, but in sad case it does not make it here, like another excellent work of Jordan Mechner - The Last Express game - we have this book.
Buy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Beth on July 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
In 1307, the Knights Templar in France were rounded up and arrested. This 470-page graphic novel follows a small band of Templars who escaped arrest. Templar is half historical intrigue and half Ocean's Eleven style heist. It's extremely funny at some points and sad at others. The characters are all well rounded, with tons of personality.

The art is gorgeous, and fits the book perfectly. It is detailed and expressive. There's a two page spread near the middle of the book that I would love to have as a print.

Templar is one of the best historical graphic novels I've ever read.
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Wow. Just wow. One of the best graphic novels I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Jordan Mechner penned a sensational epic, delightfully illustrated by Leuyen Pham and Alex Puvilland.

A little back story... About three years ago I picked up a copy of Prince of Persia, the graphic novel. Right next to it on the shelf was a copy of Solomon's Thieves, both by the same creators. I knew of Mechner, yet had not read his writing (heck, I played it if you count him writing code). I ended up enjoying Solomon's Thieves more, and waited for a sequel. And waited, and waited.

Thankfully First Second publishing decided on a birthday present for me, releasing Templar for me to, well, buy for myself.

First Second always amazes me with their releases, but this one deserves special mention. 450+ pages tightly bound in hardcover. Most publishers would have gone cheap, or God forbid paperback. Thank you for the extra effort.

Enough with the outside... how about what's inside the book? Some damn fine writing and art, that's what. I was thinking of a way to classify the story... a tragedy? Comedy? The book equivalent of a buddy film? All of the above? Mechner crafted very human characters with hopes, aspirations, and flaws. Best of all, you cared for them right up the the end. I don't want to spoil much, so it's best to experience it for yourself.

I'll go ahead and say it. I really like Pham's art. Puvilland's color really does her inks justice. Pham designed characters with human traits and had them act out with whimsy. I devoured each panel and was in awe of the detail that I had seen. One of he double page spreads at the end made me gasp. I loved it.

The book was an enjoyable read. Do yourself a favor and pick yourself up a copy. As for me, I hope see see Mechner, Pham, and Puvilland back with a new exciting series soon, but not too soon... the three of you deserve a break.
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More About the Author

New York Times best-selling author, screenwriter, and video game designer Jordan Mechner has created games including Prince of Persia, Karateka, and The Last Express. He became the first game-creator-turned-screenwriter to adapt his own work as a major motion picture with "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" (2010).

Mechner's original graphic novel Templar is published by First Second. He has also published two volumes of his game development journals from the 1980s, The Making of Karateka and Prince of Persia. His film "Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story" won the 2003 IDA award for Best Short Documentary.

Mechner was born in New York and received his B.A. from Yale University.

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