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3.7 out of 5 stars
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3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 16 January 2013
This is the first book in a series, following the exploits of an ex Knight Templar and a Stannary Bailiff from Devon. A superb introduction to the history of the Medieval Age. Written with a simplicity that will belie the amount of knowledge and information imparted by the author Michael Jecks. With great sensitivity a particularly shameful act in history is brought to light in a straightforward way that enables the reader to understand the history as well as be entertained by the story. An ability to impart knowledge and teach whilst entertaining is rare. Stick with the story as it on occasion rambles a little, you will be rewarded, a twist and surprise will raise a few eyebrows. The detail is superb and can be verified with the help of the author himself, providing details of some of the books used for his research. This as I mentioned is the first in a series and as will all things in life, the stories improve and get better with time. I was gripped from the beginning and I'm still going, dive in you won't regret!
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For those who have not read Michael Jecks, but like historical novels, particularly about medieval England, you are in for all real treat. I have read some of the other comments from reviewers and I am not sure what they are getting at. Mr. Jecks writes a good entertaining tale. I am sure he did not set out to write a classic, just a book that is a good read with a good plot.

In actual fact his books are very well researched and it would be churlish to criticise what was in fact his first novel when he was trying to put flesh on the bones of his leading characters and hone his writing style. This books is the start of the extremely popular Knights Templar Mysteries.

1314 and an ill-advised Pope and also the King of France are doing everything in their power to destroy the powerful Knights Templars, sacking their headquarters in Paris and burning the leading officials of the movement for heresy.

Sir Baldwin de Furnshill, a Templar, escapes and makes his way across the channel. His brother in England has died and the estate now belongs to Simon. He is careful to keep his past history secret but he has watched some of his friends die for no reason other than the whim of a Pope and he is determined to do anything and everything in his power to reap vengeance on their accusers.
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I like medieval murder mysteries. I'm a fan of the writings of Susanna Gregory, Bernard Knight and the 'Medieval murderers', where I first came across Michael Jeck's characters of Bailiff Simon Puttock and his Knight friend, Baldwin De Furnshill. Those stories encouraged me to go back to the beginning and read the full novel of how the two came together. Having read the Last Templar, I am very impressed. The characters are very well written and the story line is steeped in Medieval history. The book description at the top of the page gives a general introduction, but the writing draws you into the period and you can identify with the people of the time, their lives and hardships, with the posse as they track the bandits, feeling the tension and nervousness as they mount their attack. Great writing.
I recommend this to fans of the Medieval period and those maybe not yet familiar with it. Already got the Merchant's partner, number two in the series, with many more books to follow, I think I'm going to have many hours of enjoyable reading to come.
The Last Templar (Knights Templar Mysteries 01)
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on 28 January 2013
So enjoyed this book great introduction to this series of about 20 odd books, characters likeable,the story well wriitten and the history well reasearched. Great for those who like a good old fashioned murder mysterey
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on 19 September 2014
I enjoyed the historical detail in this novel. The descriptions of living conditions in the thirteen hundreds was excellent and the last chapter explained the demise of the Templars very well.
The story is really a who done it murder mystery based in the times of the Knight's of the Templar. Sometimes the musings of the main character, the bailiff, was a little tiring which is why I have not given it the full five stars.
Recommended for lovers of historical friction (thirteen hundreds) and murder mystery fans
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on 1 February 2016
This I believe was the first book in this mega series of Templar books by Michael Jecks, who is a prolific writer of Medieval mysteries. It is another fantastic book about Baldwin and Simon, Baldwin just back from France, having been a Templar, is ready to start a new life in Devon. I think Devon is a lovely part of the world, and it's great to be able to figure out where this is set. Get this series if you like this kind of book, you will not regret it.
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on 2 October 2005
This book is a very well constructed murder mystery with plenty of twists and brilliant characters who continue to develop throughout the story. It is more about the life of a knight (sir Baldwin) after the destruction of his order rather than the crusades, but is well worth reading. It is clearly well researched without boring the reader with facts. I strongly recomend it to anyone who likes historical novels and/or mysteries.
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on 18 August 2013
This story takes you back to the Knights Templar days when the remnants of them returned to England. Told through the eyes of Simon who had just been promoted to bailiff. This story draws you in wanting to know who murdered who and why.
It tells the story in a knowledgeable historic way. It would suit 10-100 year olds and with enough 'gore' to attract the youngsters and hopefully get them interested in history.
A thoroughly excellent read I did not want to turn off my kindle.
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on 11 June 2014
This is a great story which is well written. It is a story that makes it difficult to put the book (Kindle) down. Although i knew how the Templars were unjustly destroyed but not in any detail of what they suffered. I look forward to reading the next in the series.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 11 August 2013
I hesitated to buy this book, despite being impressed by "Templar's Acre", the author's latest volume, and a prequel to this one and to all of the other "whodunits" of the series. Stories about the Knights Templars are hardly original. Detective stories set in the Middle Ages are not either (think of Corbet, Fidelma, Cadfel, and a few others that I may have forgotten).

Despite these potential concerns, I rather liked the book, mostly because it turned out to be different. Some reviewers have found it slow pace, complaining about lengthy descriptions. They might have expected some action-packed book, full of swordfights and heroic deeds. If that was the case, then they have picked the wrong book.

As mentioned before, this is a detective story, where the hero, one Simon Puttock, a newly appointed Bailiff, has to investigate and discover who murdered a peasant and burned his house down, who burned an abbot alive in a forest and whether the two events have any connection. In this, he is helped by the new master of one of the local manors -the other main character (and hero) of the book.

The plot itself is rather good but at least one of the culprits is not terribly difficult to guess. However, the author did not try to over-complicate the plot. There are few, if any, "red herrings" for instance. I found this book had two main and related qualities. One was the author's ability to recreate the historical context, whether that of the destruction of the Order of the Knights Templars or of the Devon countryside during troubled times, a couple of years after Bannockburn. The other main strongpoint of this book is the author's ability to make his characters (or at least the two main ones) come alive and "look and feel" believable, with Simon's self-doubts, sense of duty and honesty, on the one hand, and Baldwin's sense of honour on the other.

A solid four stars.
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