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Templar Hardcover – July 9, 2013
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*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
“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)
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Top Customer Reviews
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
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!
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.
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.