9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
An excellent prequel...,
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This review is from: Templar's Acre (Knights Templar) (Hardcover)
After reading all of Michael Jecks Templar series from the start I had a feeling that the series would end where it did in book 31; City of Fiends. To go forward would be problematic as the turmoil of Richard's early years matched those of his father and only really ended with the death of Mortimer. Steering an aging Sir Baldwin and Bailiff Simon through those years of intrigue would take a deft touch; not that I don't think Jecks isn't capable' just that the times were too volatile. So where to go? Baldwin's early history has been begging to be written for years and this prequel to the Templar series is the spectacular result. Jecks writes a marvellous tale based around the disastrous defence of Acre and Baldwin's involvement and within given artistic license the use of a mixture of real-life and fictional characters bring the place and events to life. Jecks is one of a group of writers who have the ability to transport you back in time whilst you're reading so that you're fully involved and just keep reading. Maybe it's because I was really interested in Baldwin's backstory due to the numerous allusions in the Templar series to how that history had affected him, his motivation and developed his character that I read this in two sittings with a break for lunch.
Rather like Godfather II, this is an excellent prequel, but then again Jecks is a better writer than he was nearly twenty years ago (although he wasn't bad then otherwise I wouldn't have stuck with him) and I'd expect an accomplished well written tome. I wasn't disappointed, that's what I got. You don't have to have read the Templar series as this can be read as a standalone. However, I would recommend reading the Templar series as Jecks steers Sir Baldwin and Bailiff Simon through the turbulent times of Edward II's reign.
If this also stimulates an interest in Templar history then there are a couple of excellent books out there; Templars: History and Myth: From Solomon's Temple to the Freemasons and A Brief History of the Knights Templar.