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Templar's Acre (Knights Templar Mysteries (Simon & Schuster)) + City of Fiends (Knights Templar Mysteries 31) + King's Gold (Knights Templar Mysteries 30)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (2 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857205196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857205193
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 107,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Who is this guy Jecks?

Michael was a moderate student and early on, being a callow youth, decided on a career as an actuary. This decision was based solely on the fact that he heard it was the highest paid profession. Well, he had a father who was one, and a brother, too, but the money certainly helped.
Not realizing that a standard definition of an actuary is "someone who finds accountancy too exciting", he achieved the relevant grades at A level and wandered off to City University, London. There, he excelled - as bar chairman - but not at actuarial studies. Firmly convinced that his course was incomprehensible (Life & Other Contingencies? Advanced Statistics? Programming in Pascal?) and other parts were designed by knaves, cretins and the criminally insane (Economics), he left the course after failing every exam for two years.

With the glittering example of a second, unqualified, brother who earned very good money, had a bonus scheme, free car, free petrol, expense account and free holiday each year, Michael decided to follow this brother into computer sales.
Joining one company selling "office automation" from the back of Gray's Inn Road (typewriters), he soon progressed to a company selling personal computers. Especially the ACT Sirius. He left and set up a division of PC sales for City of London Computer Services, only to lose his job when a second partner, who didn't believe PCs would take off, returned from a long holiday.
Following that, Michael went to a new start-up to help form Electronic Office Services. When that firm collapsed (with one director disappearing, apparently to the Bahamas with all the company's money), Michael was left without a job.
He saw an advert for an interview with a company called Wordplex, and went to see the company at an open day in a London hotel. After a lengthy interview process, which involved five formal meetings, he was accepted.
Later he heard he had been taken on because he was "the only twenty-one year old I've ever seen turn up to a job interview smoking a pipe, you berk" - (Dick Houghton, Regional Director, Wordplex, 1981).
For the next four years, Michael sold Wordplex systems as one of a hundred salesmen in the UK. He was consistently one of the top salespeople in the country, and as a result was headhunted to join Wang Laboratories in 1985.
Wang was a challenging company. All salespeople who did not achieve their monthly targets at least once in every three months were summarily dismissed. Michael survived until 1990, when Wang collapsed, and Michael took a job with Rank Xerox. This interesting job involved selling equipment that was roughly eight years out of date. There he lasted six months before being asked to join NBI, a Colorado-based firm created by ingesters of certain illegal substances, who (out of respect for the success of IBM, ICL, NCR and ACT) named their business: Nothing But Initials.
The company closed their international operations three months after Michael joined them.
At a loose end once more, Michael looked to a job with a more secure future. Thus it was that he entered the leasing business. At the time no leasing salesman could earn less than £100,000 per annum. Michael joined a new firm called Celsius Computer Services, and in the first three months sold £1.25 million of business. Then Atlantic Leasing crashed and the entire market fell with it. Michael was unemployed without redundancy - again.
Moving to safer shores with software sales, Michael joined IBM's largest software supplier, Bluebird. They went bust a year later (owing him a lot).

Out of Computing, Into Writing
It was a while later, after 13 jobs in 13 years, that Michael finally took the hint. He found himself at the beginning of 1994 once more without a job, and so he sat down to decide on a new course. He had no qualifications, but he knew he loved reading. With that conviction, he began to write, becoming a full-time homeworker while his wife went to work and supported their (exorbitant) mortgage.
Those were interesting times.
In three months, Michael worked seven days a week, fourteen hours a day. In that time he wrote a modern day thriller, a management book on how to get work when made redundant (he had experience of that) and a historical crime novel that was to become The Last Templar.
The thriller was snapped up by Bantam over the phone - and rejected two days later in writing because it was all about the IRA, and they had just agreed their first ceasefire. The second book was rejected by his agent because her husband had recently left her for an IBM Systems Engineer. She wanted nothing to do with books about computers or computer people, and if Michael's book could help them find contentment and employment, she was content to see it burned.

Since 1995 and the launch of The Last Templar, Michael has been a persistent and prolific author. City of Fiends was the 31st story in the series that follows the lives of Sir Baldwin de Furnshill, a renegade Templar, and his friend Bailiff Simon Puttock through the miserable period of famine, war and disease that was the first half of the fourteenth century.
The series is the first to tell the tale of that time.
It charts the incompetent reign of King Edward II, the appalling avarice and criminality of his chief advisers, Sir Hugh le Despenser and (sadly) Bishop Walter II of Exeter; then the war against France and the desertion of Edward by his wife Isabella, and her return with a small army to remove him from the throne.
However it is not merely a crime series. The whole of the Kingdom was changing: after fifty years the language of authority stopped being French and became English; the feudal system was broken; farming was becoming efficient and organised; new towns were springing up - and the king was losing control of law-making and even war-making. It was probably the period in which England changed the most, apart from perhaps the fifty years post World War II.

Over the years, the series has sold well in the UK and America, with translations into Dutch, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Italian, and many other countries.
In America it has been taken on by many schools as a means of imparting accurate social history. It has revived interest in Edward II's reign, and has made Michael friends all across the globe.
With the publication of Templar's Acre in 2013, which was a prequel to the series, Michael felt it was time to take a break. As a result, he wrote ACT OF VENGEANCE, a modern day spy thriller, which received the comment from Lee Child who said it was "An instant classic British spy novel - mature, thoughtful, and intelligent ... but also raw enough for our modern times.  Highly recommended."

Michael has made many friends with authors in the medieval period. He founded Medieval Murderers as a performance group, and soon had the idea that the group should write a collaborative novel. This collection of linked novellas was published as Tainted Relic by Simon & Schuster. DEADLIEST SIN is the tenth anniversary edition, published in 2014
As well as the Templar Series and Medieval Murderers, Michael has compiled ebook collections of his short stories. FOR THE LOVE OF OLD BONES and NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM have all the short stories previously published in collections from Maxim Jakubowski, Mike Ashley and the Crime Writers' Association.
Michael is now writing a thrilling trilogy based on the lives of a vintaine (platoon) of archers during the early years of the Hundred Years War. FIELDS OF GLORY, the first, was published in 2014.

Michael has long had an interest in helping new writers, and for two years he organised the Debut Dagger for the Crime Writers' Association, helping five authors win their first publishing contracts as a result.
In 2004 he was elected as Chairman of the CWA, and afterwards he accepted a post as judge on the CWA/Ian Fleming Steel Dagger award, on which he served for three years. More recently he has been working with the International Thriller Writers and in 2011 he helped create the Historical Writer's Association, and remains on the organising committee.
In 2007 Michael was proud to be asked to collaborate with Conway Stewart to produce the Michael Jecks fountain pen. Other honours include being invited as the International Guest of Honour at the Bloody Words gala 2014, to being the Grand Master of the first parade of the 2014 Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Michael is a regular speaker about the Knights Templar, the end of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, about writing and publishing, and about finding work. He is also keen to help those who are now going through the latest recession. He endured enough hardship, and lost all his savings, during the last recession, and understands what it means to risk losing everything.

An enthusiastic photographer and watercolourist, Michael can often be seen walking across Dartmoor where he lives, gaining inspiration into the lives of our ancestors for his stories. When relaxing he can usually be found clad in white in a pub near you before dancing mad stick Morris.

For more on Michael Jecks, check out writerlywitterings.com, look him up at writerlywitterings on YouTube, check his pictures on Flickr.com/photos/Michael_Jecks, like his page on FaceBook, or check for him on Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and all other social media!

Product Description

Review

"New readers will want to seek out other books in the series, while established fans will find this a thoughtful and touching conclusion." --"Publishers Weekly"

About the Author

Michael Jecks gave up a career in the computer industry to concentrate on writing and the study of medieval history. A regular speaker at library and literary events, he is a past Chairman of the Crime Writers' Association. He lives with his wife, children and dogs in northern Dartmoor.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By amazon customer on 1 Jan 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Michael Jecks is a good author, however in this his prequel I was hoping for a bit more. The narrative for the first 100 pages was painfully slow, however once all the main protagonists had been introduced and the plot fleshed out the pace picked up, culminating in the grand finale, the siege itself. There is no doubt about it Jecks knows his subject, he just needs to light a fire under it. All in all not a real page turner, but still an enjoyable read.
For those who would like further information on this epoch I highly recommend the OSPREY Campaign, Warrior, and men at arms booklets, with great overviews, excellent illustrations, and highly detailed maps.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lt Col Val on 19 Sep 2013
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The knights of the Templar order are shown as men fighting for the faith they believe in.
It shows the relatively good days when they still had held onto some lands in there beloved Outreamer. When suddenly the new emir , being morre aggressive than the previous, sets out to regain the whole country he sees as his peoples.
It tells of the aftermath to the battles and the fate of the knights. Then onto there future lives.
A great read with enough history but with poetic licence to make it into a believeable, readable story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul S. Davison on 17 July 2013
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This is a good story of how a much younger (and less wiser) Baldwin de Furnshill fought in the Holy Land at the siege and fall of Acre. It has the problems of all sequels in that you know that Baldwin and Edgar, whom he meets in Acre, will survive (or there wouldn't be any books!). One continuity problem is that Baldwin falls deeply in love with someone who isn't mentioned or hinted at in the first book. That doesn't seriously detract from the story, however.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By lynn nolder on 19 Sep 2013
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I like this as a thoroughly engageing read. The research into the background seems sound, historical figures appear where necessary, and the flow is fleshed out with the characters who carry the story along from various points of view.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr & Mrs G on 15 Sep 2013
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I have read every title in this series. The later part of the series started to develop into a history lesson and was feeling a little tired. However Jecks is most certainly back to his very best with this book. Excellent read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Specky on 13 Sep 2013
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As a keen Baldwin fan I was looking forward to reading this and was not disappointed. A great story in its own right that adds to the understanding of one of my favourite characters
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Margaret Thomas on 14 Sep 2013
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This is a book of blood and guts. I rated it highly for its language it's imagination and the skill showen by the writer. I was fascinated yet I don't like blood & guts normally.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Connolly on 26 Aug 2013
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Such a magnificent visualisation of the last days of Acre - Michael Jecks has surpassed himself. You can almost smell the Greek fire and hear the missiles whistling overhead.
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