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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Middle Catholicism & White Magic
What if...William--Braveheart--of Wallace was involved in a plot to revive both the Scottish monarchy and the mythical Temple of this lost militant Christian order. Turner & Kurtz weave a masterfully researched yarn that strives to answer the above while capturing the haunting magic of the Celtic Isles and blending it with it's Christian successor's beliefs. This...
Published on May 12, 2000 by D. F. Queally

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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Braveheart Meets the Adept
It's better written than Braveheart, but somehow doesn't quite flow like the adept series. This stew of Templar magic, William Wallace, Longshanks & Robert the Bruce, hold enough interest to finish the book. I'm not a Celtic scholar, but it sounds like Kurtz & Harris have done their homework. They certainly don't resort to some of the wildly unbelievable fantasies...
Published on April 5, 2001 by Elderbear


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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Braveheart Meets the Adept, April 5, 2001
By 
Elderbear (Loma Linda, Aztlan) - See all my reviews
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It's better written than Braveheart, but somehow doesn't quite flow like the adept series. This stew of Templar magic, William Wallace, Longshanks & Robert the Bruce, hold enough interest to finish the book. I'm not a Celtic scholar, but it sounds like Kurtz & Harris have done their homework. They certainly don't resort to some of the wildly unbelievable fantasies that meander through the movie Braveheart.
It disappoints me that, yet again, this duo has chosen to demonize the religions of pre-Christian Europe. While finding bright light in their Christian/Templar/Masonic magic, they elaborate the darkest forces in the Old Religion. They neglect the fact that the equalitarianism of Celtic culture provided one of the few bright lights of a more democratic process than the totalitarianism which so characterized medieval Christianity. Celtic Christianity did, indeed, shine like a light in those dark ages, not inspite of the dark religions they had forsaken, but precisely because their pre-Christian religions were so full of light, celebration, and lie-affirming beliefs and celebrations.
Overall, it was an enoyable book. Plenty of action, although a bit formulaic. The magical & occult material is not as rich as that found in Dion Fortune's novels, but this book is much more readable. If you're a die-hard Adept fan, you will want to read this book to experience more of the Saint Clair story.
Fun, longer than it is deep, perhaps even historically accurate. Doesn't quite make it to 4 stars, though. It gets 3.5 stars, rounded down because it felt a bit tired.
(If you would like to correspond about this review, please click the "about me" link above. Thanks!)
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A syncopated plot line and lots of detail, September 9, 1999
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This book skips and starts between plot development and detailed descriptions. While successfully capturing the balancing act required of a neutral order of knighthood while competing kingdoms are at war, Kurtz and Harris all too often lose the reader in detail, however well written.
The book taken as a whole is not particularly compelling. No character evokes much empathy with the reader, and too many of the characters are two dimensional. On the other hand, the description is detailed, and rich pictures are painted with prose during the scenes where occult and heavenly powers are exercised.
The alternative history style holds great dangers to any author, most of which are successfully navigated. The linkage of early Celtic christianity to the highly politicized christianity of the 14th century is fairly well presented. If you don't know much about the Knights Templar, or Scottish history, you may enjoy the book for pure entertainment value. The more you know about 13th and 14th century European politics and history, the less this book is likely to entertain you.
A strong point to this book is its very digestable length. Far too many phone book sized fantasy novels on the market. This book is self contained and will create few problems with reading until 4 in the morning the night before and important meeting or exam. It may inspire interest in medevial European history, which is a rich and fascinating historical period for anyone to study or even just browse.
In a nutshell: worth a read, but not a must.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Middle Catholicism & White Magic, May 12, 2000
What if...William--Braveheart--of Wallace was involved in a plot to revive both the Scottish monarchy and the mythical Temple of this lost militant Christian order. Turner & Kurtz weave a masterfully researched yarn that strives to answer the above while capturing the haunting magic of the Celtic Isles and blending it with it's Christian successor's beliefs. This page turner will thrill fans of fantasy and sword & sorcery while keeping those who love involved, political plots intrigued. The details of daily life are stunning...this is a labor of obvious love for the peroid and it's people.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Temple and the Stone by Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turn, February 18, 2004
By 
fuzcat (Boston, MA United States) - See all my reviews
The Temple and the Stone
by Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris
If you enjoyed the Adept Series by these authors you will enjoy this book. If not, this probably is not the book for you either. Much like the Adept books this is an Esoteric Mystery book. Some of it takes place in the solid every day reality we are used to, but many of the clues are to be found in the Astral/unseen world.
I think that these are definitely niche market books, since I can easily see it offending both main stream Christians and die hard pagans. You need to be open for a place for both aspects in the world to be confortabe with the setting of this books world. The story is from the point of view of Templar Knights, and therefore has a Christian point of view, but they are also aware of and work with the esoteric world. It is very much a white light/dark light type of battle, but this book is even more from a Christian perspective because of the protagonists. Most of the good pagan aspects are also found among Christians in this book, in the form of the Columbian Monks. These monks seem to have taken all of the traditional druidic values and added the teachings of Christ to them. Alternately there is the dark cult that our protagonists battle.
As to the plot, I found the book to be fun light read. The points of history seem to be fairly accurate from what I can remember. It begins with the death of the Maiden of Norway and sees Scotland thru to the coming of the Bruce. For reasons of their own (which are given in the book, but I am trying to avoid spoiling the plot too much), parts of the Knights Templar have decided that it is important that Scotland remains sovereign. This is the story of how they aid in bringing that about.
To think of it this book would probably make a fun Module for NeverWinter Nights. There is a magical artifact for pretty much every need.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Braveheart vs. Kurtz/Harris, April 6, 2000
I really enjoy historical fiction. I really enjoy fantasy. I really enjoy Scottish culture. And I loved the movie "Braveheart (also historical fiction)." With all these "enjoys" in place you would think that "The Temple and the Stone" was the perfect book for me. So did I.
Unfortunately, "perfection" left after I read it. What was left was disappointment. The premise was a good one but execution was let's say, "as brutal as William Wallace's execution."
Ms. Kurtz and Ms. Harris seem to really have a passion for the Knights of the Templar. This is not a bad thing, but without the Knights in this book, William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, etc. would be nothing more than bumbling Scots. The non-Templar characters knew nothing, the good Templar knights knew everything and saved the day at every turn; while the bad Templar knights were doomed to fail. Not to give anything away, but nothing bad really ever happens to the good Templar characters. Oh sure they lose their "Temple" in Jerusalem and they've got some corruption in their ranks, but who doesn't. There just never seems to be a serious threat to their knighthood lives.
It just became painfully obvious that the battle between good and evil would always result with good winning. Now don't get me wrong, I want good to win (I "enjoy" happy endings)like the next reader, I just want to be unsure about the outcome during the battle.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing mythic/historical tale, July 12, 2001
I have enjoyed the Adept series and the other works of these authors. I am of Scots descent and was intrigued to see the use of the backdrop of the Scottish struggle for sovereignty as a stage for the occult themes.
I was very disappointed in the story and it took me a day or two to realize that one of the reasons is that there are NO WOMEN in this book at all - except for an evil pre-Christian Goddess. (Who doesn't even seem to have any female worshippers.) Granted the main characters are militant monks, but surely somewhere in their Scottish wanderings or in one of the subplots there is room for the distaff side.
This book, and its sequel, The Temple and the Crown, are relentless in their portrayal of good Christians vs horrible diabolists of one sort or another. I'm slogging along through the sequel but whether I will actually finish the thing is in doubt. I'm amazed that it is possible to make the stories of William Wallace and Robert Bruce boring.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sure it's from a decade ago, but this stone has gathered no moss over time...., August 25, 2009
By 
B. Morse (Boston, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
It always amazes me that well-written novels like this have only a handful of reviews, and the 'best-seller' fiction.....which, to be honest, boasts quite a bit of hackneyed, formulaic, and uninspired prose amongst the few 'gems'; will have two, three hundred reviews....about how life-changing and mesmerizing it was to read.....I don't disparage anyone for reading, in general...but I just hate to see classics and really good, quality fiction overlooked in favor of a 'flavor of the month' best-seller.

I'll admit it...I've got something against that kind of fiction....to me it's the equivalent of watching a Jim Carrey film rake in a hundred million dollars and watching BRILLIANT pieces of work languish.....or seeing live theaters struggle because patrons won't go see Tennessee Williams in favor of Dumbest and Dumbest Part 12.....and when you look at today's youth and say 'But surely you've read some Dickens? You're in your early 20's...so you must have!' and they say 'Who's that?' if they can look up from their Wii long enough.....

Anyway....The Temple and The Stone, while not a masterpiece of historical fiction, and certainly not a novel I would seal into a time capsule for future preservation, is, indeed, a wonderful story, with historical fact woven into wonderful fiction.

Concerning itself with the crowning of a new king to the Scottish Throne, and the ascendency to that title of Robert Bruce....the novel presents a thinly veiled 'fantasy' story about a mystical stone of power that has become the quest of a certain group of Templar Knights to ensure that Bruce is crowned to the throne, and his foe deposed, all in the presence of the stone in an effort to 'recharge' its powers in 'the building of the fifth temple.' The Templars set off to carry out their mission and depose the 'puppet' King placed on the Scottish throne by the current King of England.

Full of bloody battle and derring-do, The Temple and the Stone ranks up with 'Ivanhoe' and such classic heroic stories in terms of action and adventure. I have long been a fan of weaving factual characters into fictional tales, and presenting a story that 'might' have happened while not straying too far from reality, and the authors here, highly regarded for their long-running 'Adept' series, have succeeded.

If you're looking for a tale of Templars, buried secrets, secret societies, bloodshed, and intrigue.....look no further....this novel won't let you down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well....I love these Gals but..., August 20, 2002
I know I read this book and I remember raving about it to preety much everyone I met 2 years ago. For the life of me I cannot remember what the book was ABOUT. That is the feeling you will get when you read this book kinda like Chinesse food, a great feeling and something you want to tell your friends about but ultimity forgetable.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great historical fiction work with NO glaring inaccuracies!, October 16, 2000
By 
Daniel Piotrowski (Lackawanna, New York) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book was a pleasure to read and hard to put down. It tied together the Templars, Wallace, the Bruce, the Celts, and more, in a finely woven Scottish plaid! I love Historical Fiction, and I HATE when they are historically inaccurate, but this book wraps itself around a framework of actual fact! Well worth the reading. I want to see more books like this!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entrancing historic fantasy epic is superb!, August 26, 1998
Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris have created a magnificent blend of history and fantasy that is truly one of the most entertaining books of the summer. Action, intrigue, and excitement throughout keep the pace fast and insistent. Highly Recommended.
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The Temple and the Stone
The Temple and the Stone by Katherine Kurtz (Hardcover - Aug. 1998)
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