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The Templar Legacy: A Novel (Cotton Malone, No. 1) Mass Market Paperback – January 30, 2007

458 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. There are times when Corrigan attempts the French accent of this book's arch-villain, Raymond de Roquefort, that he sounds like nothing so much as Peter Sellers's Inspector Clouseau with a bad head cold. Corrigan gamely tackles what so many other readers tiptoe around, imitating each of the voices in Berry's international array of shadowy operators. While the results are occasionally, unintentionally comic, Corrigan is to be commended: his multivoiced, one-man-band reading makes for a wildly enjoyable listen. Berry's novel follows in the tradition of The Da Vinci Code, mingling medieval Christian secrecy and contemporary intelligence-agency intrigue. Corrigan contains multitudes, and his able array of voices show a man who greatly enjoys the opportunity to have the stage of Berry's book all to himself. Having fun with his reading, Corrigan masterfully conveys the entertainment value of Berry's convoluted story.
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

The Knights Templar, a small monastic military order formed in the early 1100s to protect travelers to the Holy Land, eventually grew and became wealthy beyond imagination. In 1307, the French king, feeling jealous and greedy, killed off the Templars, and by 1311, the last master, Jacques de Molay, was burned at the stake. The whereabouts of the Templars' treasure--and their secrets--have been the subject of legend ever since. Now, a new thriller trieas to follow in the steps of The Da Vinci Code.

There's a secret about early Christianity at the core of Berry's Templar Legacy, but he dispenses the clues too slowly. The cat-and-mouse game between Cotton Malone, a former Justice Department agent, and a modern-day order of Knights Templar is weighed down with too much confusing backstory about the Templars' connection to Rennes-le-Chateau and the mystery that surrounds it. (The real-life town plays a part in The Da Vinci Code as well.) Like Dan Brown, Berry draws on the seminal nonfiction work Holy Blood, Holy Grail for many of his themes. After nearly grinding to a halt through all the premise building, the novel finally gathers steam in the last 100 pages or so, concluding with a revelation that seems refreshingly clear after the many convoluted twists that precede it. Until the next Dan Brown opus is released, this should hold devotees. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (January 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345476166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345476166
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (458 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,092,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Lincoln Myth, The King's Deception, The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson Key, The Emperor's Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into 40 languages with over 20,000,000 copies in 51 countries.

History lies at the heart of every Steve Berry novel. It's his passion, one he shares with his wife, Elizabeth, which led them to create History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation. Since 2009 Steve and Elizabeth have crossed the country to save endangered historic treasures, raising money via lectures, receptions, galas, luncheons, dinners and their popular writers' workshops. To date, over 2,500 students have attended those workshops. In 2012 their work was recognized by the American Library Association, which named Steve the first spokesman for National Preservation Week. He was also appointed by the Smithsonian Board of Regents to serve on the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board to help promote and support the libraries in their mission to provide information in all forms to scientists, curators, scholars, students and the public at large. He has received the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award; the 2013 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award; his novel The Columbus Affair earned him the Anne Frank Human Writes Award; and International Thriller Writers bestowed him the 2013 Silver Bullet for his work with historic preservation. A 2010 NPR survey named The Templar Legacy one of the top 100 thrillers ever written.

Steve was born and raised in Georgia, graduating from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. He was a trial lawyer for 30 years and held elective office for 14 of those years. He is a founding member of International Thriller Writers--a group of more than 2,600 thriller writers from around the world--and served three years as its co-president.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Steve Berry has acquired a formidable reputation within the relatively short space of three novels. His latest work, THE TEMPLAR LEGACY, introduces readers to Cotton Malone, a former covert agent of the U.S. Justice Department.

The history of the rise and fall of the Templars, from a force created for the protection of Christian pilgrims to a society whose wealth and power equaled (and perhaps threatened) that of the Roman Catholic Church that they purportedly served, is fascinating even as it is shrouded in mystery. The primary questions about the Templars that have yet to be answered are: 1) How did the organization manage to acquire the power that it did? and 2) What happened to its much-rumored treasure, which was seemingly lost forever when the Templars experienced a rough disbanding at the hands of an alliance of convenience between church and state? Berry sends Malone on a wild chase to connect the dots in a tale that is equal parts cerebral and cataclysmic.

Malone finds himself drawn into the pursuit of the Templar legacy when what was supposed to be a visit with Stephanie Nelle, his former supervisor at Justice, turns into a purse snatching that ends when the perpetrator, after being cornered, commits suicide. It develops that the would-be thief is after a notebook of Nelle's late and estranged husband that has passed into her possession under somewhat mysterious circumstances. Nelle's husband had become famous writing a number of speculative works concerning European mysteries of the 14th century, including the disappearance of the Templar fortune. His notebooks and a seemingly innocuous manuscript appear to hold the key to the ultimate location of the treasure trove.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By frumiousb VINE VOICE on March 10, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you travel a lot and often find yourself needing to pick up a book in the airport, it is nearly inevitable that you will find yourself reading some of the seemingly endless Gweat Sekwet of the Templars/Holy Grail books. After a truly cringeworthy encounter with the Kate Mosse entry into the genre, I picked the Berry book up extremely gingerly. To be honest, I probably would not have picked it up at all if it were not for the collection of positive blurbs from respectable sources on the back of the book.

As an airplane/vacation book, The Templar Legacy was not too bad. Okay, Cotton Malone is a lukewarm pastiche of the classic noir and thriller characters. Character development is clearly not a strong point of the book. Still, the action was consistent and the Gweat Sekwet not too ridiculous. (At least there was none of the tiresome bloodline of Christ stuff involved.) I thought that it was reasonably literate and had a decent feel for plot and entertainment. The writing was definitely clunky in places, but not too terrible considering the genre. It felt like the publisher did not care enough to invest in a decent proofread/editing round more than anything else.

In short-- not a bad read if you are looking for something light and readily available. I found the supposed anti-Christian elements to be nothing more than typical speculative plot tropes-- a little surprised that people get so worked up about them. Still, if easily offended by writers who try to reinterpret religious history, you may want to approach with caution. While there is some excessive violence (largely in the first section), the writing is pretty clean so the book can be read by all ages.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 11, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Once again, this author had me enthralled with his mélange of historical fiction, adventure, and suspense. As I have long had an interest in the Knights Templar, this book had me from the beginning, hook, line, and sinker. I was riveted. The plot is centered on the search for the reputed missing treasury of the Knights Templar, as well as an ancient Templar archive known as the Great Devise, which may conflict with accepted Christian dogma. While, as with others of the author's books, the plot may seem a bit far-fetched, it does not diminish the entertainment value of this work of fiction.

The book's central character, Cotton Malone, is a former operative for the United States government, now retired and living in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he operates a rare book store. When he is visited by his former boss, Stephanie Nelle, Cotton finds himself embroiled in the middle of a mystery that has lain dormant for centuries. It appears that the Knights Templar, long thought to have ceased to exist after they were exterminated in the fourteenth century, are alive and well and headed by a fanatic in pursuit of those clues that will lead them to the Great Devise, as well as the lost treasury of the Knights Templar of old. Ms. Nelle is believed by them to have some of the clues that will lead to that which is being sought.

Intermixed with the action and adventure is a good amount of information on the history of the Knights Templar, as well as the contradictions amongst the various Gospels in terms of the Resurrection. As with the author's other books, there are many twists and turns in the tale, which makes for a fast-paced, exciting story that is sure to grip the reader.
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