Here is the fourth instalment from Cinebook of the "Scorpion" series. Although some elements of the story overall finish at the end of this episode, and some major characters bow out (not as gracefully as they would like), there are still major questions for The Scorpion to be answered suggesting that other books will follow to continue the story. And that wonderfully nasty Pope Trebaldi is still in power, oooo, I can't wait for him to get his cumuppance.
There appear to be quite a few more scenes of violence in this one, which probably is the result of the characters getting a bit more desperate towards the end of the story.
This series is great fun with lots of volumptious women, violent and wonderfully nasty "baddies", sword fights and mysterious stone passages (a la Indiana Jones) all intertwined with the wonderful backdrop of a beautifully drawn historical Rome and the Holy Land. I also like the way in which the story depicts religious corruption at the very top of the church hierarchy and how heretic and hypocritical they all are - I know it's only fiction, but I'm assured there was and, well, probably still is... lots of this going on.
I bought this, assuming it was a free-standing volume. In reality, it's the fourth part in a series. It can be read on its own, but certain plot elements will remain obscure unless you procure the entire series. Which, I'm afraid, I have no intention of doing. The story wasn't *that* interesting, although I admit it could work as a Hollywood flick (or even a mini-series).
The plot is set in the 18th century, before the French and American revolutions, but has a very modern “feel”, with emancipated females, politically correct criticism of the crusades, attempts to bring in “peace” in the Middle East, and an evil papal court which looks like late 20th century conspiracy theorists imagine Satanists or Illuminati to look like.
Much of the plot revolves around various Templar mysteries. In this version, the Knights Templar wanted to unite Christianity, Islam and Judaism! They found ancient scrolls proving that Jesus was a prophet, rather than the Son of God, and that Peter had been crucified in Cappadocia and hence couldn't have been the first pope of Rome. The secret is hidden in an ancient ruin in Syria, together with fabulous riches, and more than one interested party wants to find it and claim it… Well, you get the drift.
For your weird Templar lore collection only. We've been here before, haven't we?