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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 14 June 2013
Having finished this ebook only moments ago, I thought I would take a little time and offer my first ever book review.

I am confident in having read a very high percentage of books relating to Templar, Crusades and Salah ah-Din etc. both as fact and fiction and feel that I can write with some authority albeit that of an amateur historian, though I'm sure a smart-ass or two will delight in pointing-out any error I make. I am the first to admit that I am not as elegant nor word proficient as other reviewers, for this I apologise.

Having followed a number of publishers on Twitter, I frequently found this title and author in my feed and thought I'd give this book a go. I must add that I am ashamed to write the author was then unknown to me.

When you start reading The Templar's Apprentice, it quickly becomes evident that we have an author who has grasped the knack in presenting a great story with a strong narrative. We start at a slow pace, the setting cleverly isolating the leading and supporting characters to set us on our path without barraging us with an assortment of names.

Our apprentice, setting and supporting characters continue to develop at a healthy rate, focusing on each in a manner that gives familiarity but not so much that it hampers our read. Reading from the eyes, thoughts and memories of the protagonist, we set out on a delightful journey; that is historically strong for a book of this genre.

It is plain from the start that the author has researched here, frequently presenting us with contemporary terms and names, however unlike some, does not go to great lengths to explain these. To continually explain what's and where's not only detracts from a story, I find it quite insulting. Peter Tolladay expertly continues with the story, assuming you are familiar with these words, or happy to turn for a moment to that omnipresent all knowing tool we call google.

Though-out our journey, we encounter Templars, including the Grand Master himself. Unusually for a book of this type, we do not dwell on ceremony or mysteries that many other have. For me this demonstrates an understanding of the period and the Order. Too often authors confuse Templar with Mason. Here we are made aware of Templar observations and obedience, with the author tactfully skirting ceremonies.

The story continues to gain speed, giving us plenty of pitched battles that include a little gore but certainly not disturbing in detail. The fight scenes in this book are expertly balanced and carry us smartly to a battle, where finally the armies of the Christian West, sweltering under the heat of the sun, charge headlong into the vast army of Islam and the great Salah ah-Din. A battle that has been retold in numerous books and movies but crafted expertly here. As the battle ensues we are not weighed down with bloody detail that you may find elsewher which I believe makes this book suitable reading for younger readers and giving an exceedingly good introduction to the period and dare I say honour.

spoiler alert: there are a few rude bits, just close your eyes, count to 10 and move on.

I'm teasing.

This book is about the development of the central character, supported by strong cast. It is only natural to include a chapter or two on the bonding of two people. We are given detail that isn't too graphic.

I did notice a couple of typos, which I would expect to see corrected in the next revision. These however were few (I've seen far worse) and didn't detract in any way from the story.

We have here an outstanding book. If you like this subject, you'd be a fool not to read this.

This is a Kindle exclusive, at £1.91 it is one heck of a bargain. Terry Tibbs would tell you it's `the sale of the century' and though I wouldn't go as far to agree, it must surely come a very close second. If you don't own a Kindle, I have to say you're missing out.

I've given this 4 stars. The book is exceptionally good, but anything can be bettered. So it is with a little regret that I will hold onto the final star for the foreseeable future.

Conn Iggulden watch out, we have here a challenger for your crown.

Oh, I'm going a little off piste here but can we please pressure the British government to drop the VAT on ebooks. Thank you, and thank you for reading. Now go download the book :)
44 comments| 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 October 2013
An interesting read only if this period in history is of interest to you. Disappointing as a novel with weak or no character build, even the main characters are sadly two dimensional. With time and effort this subject could have made a terrific novel, and perhaps any follow ons may be better.
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on 27 July 2016
Blood and Honour is the battle cry and there is certainly a lot of both in this gripping tale. There is also sex, betrayal and politics.
We follow the fortunes of Honfroy - who certainly ends with far more fortune than might have been expected from the low level of his status at the beginning of the book.

I have no idea how accurate the history is, but for me this was an exciting read
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on 2 April 2015
Books are a very personal preference, but if you like historic fiction similar to Bernard Cornwell books, then you will LOVE THIS !!

The book revolves around a young Templar and is full of intrigue, battle scenes, politics, and sex. I found it impossible to put down, always wanting to read one more chapter.

Cannot understand some of the few negative reviews of this book, as the characters and action just explodes off the page !!
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on 29 April 2015
I found this book to be most enjoyable and interesting you names and facts about places, you can almost feel yourself there watching it all unfold before your eyes, I would recommend anyone who likes to read about the temples and Knights to read this book, I am just about to start to read the second book and I hope it's just as good perhaps better.
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Once you begin reading clear your schedule because you won't want to put it down until it's finished. The characters are so engaging and believable as to become like friends. Thoroughly entertaining, superbly written and with a plot that flows like silk on a breeze without sacrificing historical accuracy.
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on 19 May 2015
I couldn't put this book down. The plot is gripping, the characters well developed and the author's sense of humour subtle but hilarious. I have just started the sequel and, so far, it hasn't disappointed! Keep up the good work Peter Tolladay!
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on 19 March 2015
I found this book gripping with plenty of toing and froing to keep the interest going. This is a complete book which is not the norm for this type of novel. I am not knocking the chronicles but it is a nice change to have a start and end in one book.
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on 2 January 2015
Totally addictive, a time in history that I'm only passingly familiar with, presented brilliantly. Characters were totally believable and the story dragged you from place to place with an excellent combination of the expected and unexpected. Highly recommended.
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on 30 November 2013
The method of 'an old man telling his story' can sometimes be confusing as it moves between present and past but the author handles this very well. Good characters, great battle scenes and a plot that kept me reading. My only disappointment was that it was a standalone rather than a trilogy. Disappointing for me but a credit to the author, I'll be looking for more of his work.
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