James Wasserman needs no credentials beyond his bestselling The Templars and the Assassins: The Militia of Heaven, although he clearly has them in abundance. In this history of the Knights Templar--a group shrouded by equal parts misunderstanding, myth and mystery--Wasserman applies his scholarship with remarkable clarity and brevity. Volumes have been written on the Templars, but here we have a concise, thorough summary in 200 pages. The real treasure, however, is the inclusion of over (by my rough count) 160 full color illustrations of the history, geography and persecution of the Knights Templar. These are lovingly culled from museums, rare books, and contemporary photos of Templar sites in Rome, Jerusalem and France by Steven Brooke and Vere Chappell. The book production is not only tasteful, but beautiful. If you're a fan of the literature, then An Illustrated History of the Knights Templar is a must have. And if you're looking for an overview of what the fuss is all about, then this may be the only book you need. Either way, at this price, the book is a bargain.