This approach takes Read back into the Dark Ages and the context for the first Christian Crusade, which culminated in the capture of Jerusalem in 1099. In an attempt to hold on to Jerusalem and one of the holiest sites in Christendom, the Temple of Solomon, the Templars were formed as a strict religious-military order, committed to poverty, chastity, and the protection of pilgrims en route to the Holy Land. Read charts their rise to political and financial power and influence throughout Europe and the Holy Land, and their bloody (and ultimately unsuccessful) conflict with the forces of Islam over the subsequent two centuries. Read's account is painstakingly recounted, but often lacks the verve and pace demanded by the colorful cast of characters, including Saladin and Richard the Lionheart. The best sections of the book deal with the shockingly cynical destruction of the Order by Pope Clement V and King Philip the Fair in 1312, preceded by the torture and death of hundreds of Templars who had already fought bravely for the cross in the Holy Land. The Templars are fascinating, but in his attempt to avoid the more colorful and conspiratorial stories associated with the Order, Read's book may strike some as a little turgid, despite its admirable historical detail. --Jerry Brotton, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
At first you brush it off saying that it happens, don't worry, but then they keep coming.
I was excited to read this book due to my interest in the history of the Templars, however I was very disappointed by the time I had finished.
Admittedly, I didn't know anything about the Templars before I read this book, but I wouldn't recommend it to another novice.
I thought this was a really well-written, thoughtful and balanced book on the Templar legends. Its a subject that has attracted a lot of writings - and this is one of the best! Read morePublished 2 days ago by Vijay Crishna
This book furthered my knowledge of the crusades and the religious orders that helped fight them. Intensive research and hard work produced an excellent and readable volume. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Matthew J. Brennan
This book was a gift for someone, so I actually didn't read it, myself. It was in beautiful condition, however, and the recipient is happy with itPublished 1 month ago by Cheryl Barker
If you are looking for an in deph analyses of the history of the Knights Templar this is the book for youPublished 4 months ago by Charles G O' Brien
I had to read every book on the Templars to write my historical novel THE TEMPLARS, TWO KINGS, AND A POPE. Read morePublished on October 16, 2011 by Grigor Fedan
I almost titled my review "This Book is not about the Templars." The last few chapters saved it, bringing the attention back to the Templars and focusing on their downfall. Read morePublished on July 19, 2011 by JP
I have to say this is a very good history, not necessarily great. For the layman, it can be difficult to read since the author introduces boatloads of names and the text seems to... Read morePublished on June 5, 2011 by ben-Yohanan
1099 the first crusade commences. saint Bernard clairvaux encourages people to take the cross and liberate Christian lands. Antioch a city near Antolia falls to muslim forces. Read morePublished on June 4, 2011 by S. Cranow
This book is popular fiction, which the author clearly states in the preface. That being said, the book read like a general overview of the Crusades, with occasional references to... Read morePublished on March 17, 2011 by Arador