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The Temple and the Stone Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1999
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Templar knight Arnault de Saint Clair finds himself entwined in the affairs and fate of Scotland, from witnessing the little Maid of Scotland's unnatural death to the rise of Robert the Bruce as a claimant for Scotland's throne--the throne that King Edward Longshanks of England wants for himself. Though often pulled away for Templar duties stretching from France to the Holy Land, Arnault and his secret order of brethren of Le Cercle within the Templar order work tirelessly to preserve Scotland's independence. For if they fail, unimaginable evil will gain a foothold in the world.
A great new book from the author of the Deryni series, co-written with another good fantasy author.
Set in 14th century Scotland it deals with the impending fall of the Templar Order and integrates the story of William Wallace and Robert (The) Bruce. Note: Braveheart really abbreviated the William Wallace story. Scotland didn't win her freedom until long after Wallace and Longshanks were long dead.
Katherine knows how to spin a believable story, and includes elements of the supernatural which is usual for these stories. I highly recommend this!
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.
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