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Part II of the Templar Trilogy
Out of Print/Available Second Hand
 
The Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem has been reduced to a strip of coastline stretching from Acre to Tripoli.  The new Sultan, Kalaoun, is an even more fanatical opponent of Christendom than his predecessor Baibars. Kalaoun will not hesitate to break the precarious truce, if he is sufficiently confident of success.  And why shouldn't he be?  Edward of England seems more concerned with conquering Wales than saving the Holy Land, and Philip of France is clearly not inclined to follow in his father's footsteps and die on crusade.

A younger son with no prospects at home, Jean de Preuthune dreams of rescuing the Holy Land. He sees himself freeing Jerusalem, chasing the Muslim hordes back into the desert, and carving a new Kingdom out of the rocky sands of Palestine.  Against the wishes of his mother, Jean insists on joining the Knights Templar.

She was shaking her head, and the look in her eyes was alien to Jean - furious and hate filled and desperate.  "Not the Temple!  I would rather you were dead!"

The Temple was desperate for recruits.

But Master de Beaujeu knew: "Without a new Crusade, without thousands of knights and tens of thousands of settlers, we cannot hope to regain what has been lost.  So we must be content to do what our Order was founded to do: protect the Christians who are here.  If we can hold on to these coastal cities, retain the right of access to the sites of Our Lord's Passion, and protect the Christians who live and visit, we will have done our duty to God."

In this, the second novel in the Templar Trilogy by historian Helena Schrader, set in the time of The Crusades, the son of Geoffrey and Eleanor (see The Cypriot Knight) joins the Knights Templar to defend the Holy Land.  He embarks upon a journey of discovery which takes him not only to the Holy Land but to the depths of his own soul.  As a Templar, Commander and finally Companion of Master de Beaujeu, he encounters characters as diverse as the missionary Franciscan Friar Elion, the fanatical Jacques de Molay and the enslaved nun Madeleine.  He is tested in the siege and fall of Tripoli and Acre. And - confronted with his own failure - he is compelled to redefine himself, his beliefs and his goals.


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