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Solomon's Thieves Paperback – May 11, 2010

3.7 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up Solomon's Thieves focuses on the rank-and-file knights who found themselves persecuted when the Pope abandoned the Knights Templar for the political rulers of the day. Martin, who was in love with now-married Isabelle before taking his vows, holds tightly to the ideals of the order, despite being tortured by the soldiers of the king of France. Bernard has largely given up his Templar vows for life as a bandit, and Dominic, a priest, hides behind his robes in denial of his former role in the order. Then the three find themselves in possession of a secret: the whereabouts of the hidden Templar riches, sought after by the king to fill his coffers. This book ends just as the action is beginning, and a great heist is about to occur as they plan to steal the treasure that rightfully belongs to their order. Pham and Puvilland have created a believably harsh medieval world, and though the violence is not graphic, they do not shy away from suggesting brutal torture and death. Their action sequences feel particularly cinematic, and the sword fights are full of swashbuckling action. Certain to appeal to comic-book readers with a taste for adventure, the first volume of this trilogy sets up likable heroes, dastardly villains, and a vigilante plot that should interest readers in the history of the period as much as the adventure itself. Alana Joli Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Set in early-fourteenth-century Paris, this opening volume to a new series of historical adventures revolves around the dissolution of the Knights Templar by King Philip IV. Martin, a lower-level Templar, manages to evade capture after Philip accuses the order of blasphemy and goes about torturing confessions out of many of the brethren. Of course, Philip—at the behest of a scowling adviser in this fictionalization—is only interested in getting his hands on the massive caches of treasure brought back by the Templars from the Crusades. Martin and his cohorts are determined that he'll not see an ounce of it. Pham and Puvilland, artists for Prince of Persia (2008), the graphic novelization of Mechner's classic video-game character, are again in top form, balancing grainy, hatched textures and clean spaces to lend a weighty historical feel as a vibrant sense of kineticism brings the action sequences to life. This is just the sort of thing to fire curiosities about medieval history and the Templars—and a stepping stone to the grand conspiracy-theory-laden world of the original secret society. Grades 6-10. --Ian Chipman
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Product Details

  • Series: Solomon's Thieves (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: First Second; 1 edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596433914
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596433915
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,120,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First of all, I guess I should fess up that I'll read pretty much anything published by First Second -- I completely trust their editorial and artistic choices. Which is not to say I love everything they put out, but that I will give it a chance, and generally come away satisfied. This particular book jumped out at me because the cover art seems to indicate the kind of swashbuckling sensibility I have a weakness for, and it has to do with the Crusaders. I grew up the Middle East and have visited a ton of castles and other Crusades-related sites, so things of that ilk tend to interest me. (I'm not, however, generally interested in the whole Templar conspiracy thing, which seems to have grown from a cottage industry into a full-fledged multinational, multimedia juggernaut.)

The story here takes place among a group of French Templars, living in the Paris Temple on the outskirts of the city. One of these is Martin, who is down in the dumps after setting eyes on his old flame (she married another man 12 years earlier, prompting him to join the holy brotherhood). His two pals convince him to sneak into the city after hours for a little R&R to soothe his pain, and it just so happens that while they're away, a royal edict to arrest all Templars is carried out, leaving them some of the few free Templars in France. The rest of the story is more or less devoted to Martin's attempts to keep out of the clutches of the king's men, while also telling the history of how the kings of France and England moved to squash the power of the order and seize its sizable assets.

The book is the first of a projected trilogy, and as such, it has to do the heavy lifting of establishing the setting, characters, etc.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Set in the Middle Ages, in France after the Crusades when the Knights Templar (all of them) are arrested by King Philip and charged with the worst crimes imaginable at the time. A few knights happened to be away from the Paris Temple at the time of the raid, and this is their story ...

It's a thin book, and only the first chapter of a series, but it's looking good so far. Full-color artwork throughout. The line art looks speedy but it is confidently done, settings are convincing and the characters are easy to distinguish from one another. Action flows smoothly from panel to panel; pacing is good; no problems there. The story is well-researched and everything seems historically plausible ... I have actually read one of the books in the author's bibliography. (I disagree with the portrayal of Philip as a mere dupe of his advisor - he was a greedy and ambitious monarch.) A short afterword at the end briefly explains the historical context and gives a list of further reading, should anyone be interested in learning more about the Crusades, the Templars, and the subsequent tumultuous 14th century.

It was an enjoyable comic book (excuse me, "graphic novel") but I wish there had been more of it. Like I said, this is only Chapter 1 of the story. It's mostly devoted to establishing characters and setting up the situation, and it leaves the reader hanging in expectation of the characters' bold attempt to steal the treasure hidden somewhere in the Paris Temple.

Some scenes are violent and gruesome. This is not a funnybook for the youngest children, but anybody who can watch a PG rated movie should be able to handle it. (I don't have kids, so take that for what it's worth.)
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By John G Lucardie on September 21, 2015
Format: Paperback
This is the first part of a trilogy that will not be completed. The decision was made to put the complete story into one volume "Templar" without rewarding those who out laid money on this volume. I can recommend Templar but do not waste money on this part story.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
So I got this from the Amazon Vine program because I thought my 11-year old son might enjoy it. He read it in a day and gave it the "meh". It gets a little better from me but not a lot. It's kind of light hearted and silly but does tell the story of the templars so it gets pretty dark sometimes once the inquisitors get involved.

I was a bit surprised that this was marketed as a young adult book but early on one of the templars calls the king's soldiers "a bunch of pussies". Later some mentions "...when you were sucking at your mother's tit". I mean these aren't dispicably filthy phrases but it just seemed like they would be more worried about parents being angry. I definitely don't use those words in front of my son and don't expect him to use those words in front of adults. Looking at the amazon page now though I don't see anything about YA.

Anyway the guy gets points for mentioned Umberto Eco's Focault's Pendulum (one of my favorites) but I think I would rather read this story in novel format with a much more adult tone (hopefully including many dispicably filthy phrases).
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I picked this book up, I wasn't expecting much, but I actually enjoyed it. I teach medieval history at the college level, and crusade history is one of my interests. I was expecting to groan and roll my eyes throughout this graphic novel, but the author and artists did their homework.

The tale takes place in the historical context of the fall of the Knights Templars, but the story line itself is fictitious. The story involves some roguish Templars, lost love, and stolen treasure. The book's tone sort of reminded me a bit of the Three Musketeers. There's lots of talking about brotherhood, drinking alcohol, and running from the king's men.

On the whole I enjoyed this novel. I think it should have been about 30 pages longer to flesh out some of the story, but maybe I won't feel like it's too rushed when things start to be revealed in the sequel. Another minor complaint: sometimes I was a bit confused by who was who in the art (maybe it was just me). But I'm sure everyone in medieval France wore the same woolen cloak, so we can't blame the artists, right?
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