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The Knight Templar: Volume 2 The Crusades Trilogy [Hardcover]

Jan Guillou , Anna Paterson
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Dec 2002 Crusades Trilogy
Born in 1150 to an aristocratic Swedish family, handsome Arn Magnusson is educated at a Cistercian monastery. As well as training to be a monk, he is to be a warrior, and becomes a master archer and swordsman under the tutelage of the giant Brother Guilbert, a former knight. But Arn is innocent in the ways of the world, and when two beautiful sisters cross his path, despite falling desperately in love with one of them, Cecilia, he is seduced by the other. Such a crime is punishable by both civil and clerical authorities, and, while Cecilia is banished to spend twenty years as a nun, Arn is sentenced to serve the same period as a Knight Templar in the Holy Land. As an occupation officer in Palestine, he discovers that the infidel Saracens don't appear to be brutish and uncivilised as they are portrayed in Christian propaganda. On the contrary, in love and war he learns from the example of his noble adversary Saladin that there's another side to the teachings of the Cistercians...

Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (5 Dec 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752846485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752846484
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,089,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jan Guillou was born in Sweden in January 1944. He made his name as a journalist and rose to fame when he exposed a secret intelligence organisation, was convicted of espionage and spent 10 months in prison, 5 of which were spent in solitary confinement. He is now a bestselling novelist and writes regularly for Sweden's leading tabloid, commenting on current affairs.

Product Description


‘He has a remarkable grasp of the mindset of the period and always puts the emphasis where it would be for the people involved at hat time, rather than ours. Some readers may find that disorienting, but a capacity for disturbing readers’ assumptions is even more a hallmark of good historical fiction than the inclusion of the Knights Templar’
Diana Gabaldon

'Thrilling and inspiring, bloody and romantic; utterly of its time and utterly modern’
Tom Holland

'Destined to become a classic, a brilliant and dramatic recreation of the medieval world' Sharon Penman

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The second volume of the bestselling Swedish crusades trilogy, THE KNIGHT TEMPLAR is an atmospheric and colourful journey into the heart of the Middle East, weaving romance and brutal medieval history into a compelling tale.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great page-turning read 13 Aug 2010
I loved this book so much. I bought and read it via iBooks on my new iPad and am now going to try and find the first in the series. Can hardly wait for number three. It feels so true-to-life and is rightly sympathetic to the Islamic leadership of that era and truthful about the corruption in the Crusades and some of the Templars. But most of all it was a good story on a human level and I particularly loved the way Cecilia coped with her unjust incarceration. The unjust treatment of women in the name of politics was not unique to that era, to any religion or even religion itself. We think we have moved on but what is happening in Iran and elsewhere shows not. Guillou tells a gripping and sympathetic tale of human nature and shows it is us, not God or religion, that are to blame when things get nasty but also, likewise, he shows how faith can inspire acts of true courage, nobility and self-sacrifice for the greater good and in the name of love of God and man.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes a pleasant change from what's out there 19 Aug 2009
Just picked this randomly off the shelf, don't know why since I've kept clear of a lot of the other Templar books.
Books 1 and 2 are amazing, the first giving a intricate story of Scandanavia in the 12th Century and a varied cast of characters. Book 2 moves into Middle East as well as staying one big plotline in the North.
What's interesting is the sympathetic view of the key Muslim characters, alongside the Christian ones. The Templars, ranging from Arn, to Siegfried and the various Grandmasters demonstrate how complex political and religious life was back then, and (of course) now. It's great to read a story where, for once, the enemy's not some stereotypical cipher.
Arn stays true to his faith and honour, and in that he frees himself of the domestic dogma which caused his 20 year banishment in the first place. This is perfectly parelleled in the story of Celia Rosa, his beloved and her imprisonment in an abbey. The two plots complement one another and really is much more than a catalogues of battles.Can't recommend it enough. Eagerly await book 3.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a Christian understanding Muslims and Jews 4 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
OK, I enjoyed the first book and this was even better. It does not get bogged down in the period but offers a fairly fast paced (and insightful) look at the period of Christians (and their dubious treatment of others) and their fight for control of the Holy Lands. Thorougly enjoyed it and look forward to the last in the series.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I was sceptical when I started reading the first book of this trilogy thata fundamentally interesting story by a foreign writer would be spoilt byuninspriring translation, as I had found with the Ramses series by C Jacqfor example.
This second book in the series follows the seperate livesof Arn and Cecilia through political changes, major battles and personalupheaval. The storytelling pace does not let up as the book progresses andthe reader is left wanting to commence with the trilogy's conclusionstraight away.
If you enjoy historical novels with depth and accuracy,the Knight Templar, and indeed this trilogy is highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Templar Knight 1 Jun 2010
By Rollo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Templar Knight, book review 26 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Highly recommended, as it is a very good story and easy to read. There is some good historical background written in very comprehensible language together with a nice love story.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This is the second in the series of three of the story of Arn and Cecilia during the 12th century, after their excommunication due to committing the sin of "abomination". The sentence is 20 years of pennance, for Cecilia its 20 years spent in a nunnery and Arn as a knight Templar in the Holy Land.

I had actually first watched the film and then thought to read the books and see how they differed. I quite enjoyed the film and was pleasantly surprised when I started reading the books. It was remarkable how much had been left out of the film as well as being changed in some important aspects e.g. in the book Arn slept with both the Algot daughters and in the film he had rejected the advances of the second sister.

In many ways I was very impressed by the way Guillou represented the muslims in the Holy Land. The respect shown the prophet Mohammed where he never fails to add: "peace be unto him", is impressive. I have noticed that this is not true of his use of the well known muslim expression: "God willing" which may be almost as important. I was also impressed by his representation of King Richard the Lion Heart as a childish man who committed terrible crimes such as the massacre of 2000 muslims. This is the first time I noticed that he was not shown as some kind of hero and the fact that Arn told Saladin that he had won because of this massacre must certainly have had a great influence on the war.

Two very enjoyable books and I am waiting to see what the third in the trilogy has to offer.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A macho multi-culturalist Templar 23 Aug 2008
Are you a serious admirerer of the Knights Templar? Then this isn't a book for you. Do you just love Templar hype? Do you have a collection of weird Templar books at home or in your trailer? Then "The Knight Templar" is a must have.

I'm sure you've read books where the Templars are pirates, terrorists, Satanists, keepers of the Holy Grail or just plain mean to poor Ivanhoe. Forget about them. Say goodbye to Earl Sinclair, Brian Guilbert and albino killers in Paris. Say hello to Arn Magnusson, the pro-Muslim multi-culturalist Templar.

"The Knights Templar" is a English translation of the Swedish novel "Tempelriddaren" by Jan Guillou. I've never read the translation, so I can only vouch for the Swedish original. You just have to buy this book anyway! If you live in Nueva Mexico or Puerto-damn-Rico, you can even purchase a Spanish translation. Note that "The Knights Templar" is really the second part of a trilogy. However, it can be read independently of the others.

Jan Guillou is a highly controversial writer, journalist and political columnist. Politically, he is very left-wing and pro-Muslim. Indeed, he is blacklisted by US authorities and can't enter the country! The heroes of his novels are always tough macho guys. But they are tough macho guys with a twist: they are politically correct tough macho guys. If you can imagine a politically correct version of Arnold Schwarzenegger, you can imagine Arn Magnusson, the main character of "The Knights Templar".

The novel is very well-written. It cleverly weaves together fact, fiction and sheer fantasy. Indeed, it's so clever that you have to be an expert on the history of the crusades to untangle the fact from the fiction. Guillou even utilizes Muslim legends about Saladin's dealings with the Templars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A very good read with roaring action and solid historical insight
Suffers from the translation from Swedish. A very good read with roaring action and solid historical insight. For God's sake don't watch the film it ruins it.
Published 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A must.
Published 1 month ago by Ty Platten
1.0 out of 5 stars Left wing Pro Muslim Propaganda
Basically, Arn is a modern day George Galloway on a horse who loves the Muslim pagans. This book speaks only blasphemy.
Published 3 months ago by Yakov
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly excellent read, rarely have I read such a gripping, uplifting...
Well linked to historical fact.

Engaging writing style.

This second book in the trilogy is, in my opinion, the best.
Published 4 months ago by rosie
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting read
Excellent style, easy to follow and very stimulating.
Accurate historical facts

Very interesting story lines.

Superb book and triology. Fascinating.
Published 8 months ago by Donna Raouf
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good wordsmith.
Well told tale and with a very believable background. I enjoyed this story very much. and willlook out for more of his work.
Published 10 months ago by Yorkstor
4.0 out of 5 stars more about a man than the crusades
i would recommend reading the 1st book the road to Jerusalem before reading this as you will get a greater understanding of the main character arn de gothia and how and why he is... Read more
Published 10 months ago by mr glenn parker
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
After seeing the film this fills out the bits missing and expands the whole story. historical action/drama set in an area of Europe mostly forgotten or unknown then to the Holy... Read more
Published 13 months ago by The owlman
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reading again
Follows on from the first book very well, it alternates well between the lives of the now forcibly separated couple. Read more
Published 16 months ago by L
1.0 out of 5 stars A historical novelist who isn't.
This was the oThis book would have been greatly improved if the author writing about knights had a reasonable knowledge of medieval weapons or acquantance with horses. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Phil
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