At first blush, this is simply an entertaining novel, something to read for a bit of excitement.
But on further scrutiny, one finds a very detailed, painstakingly accurate account of the Knights Templar. All a person has to do is conduct an internet search, not just of the main characters such as Otto de Grandson who as it turns out was instrumental in stopping the French king on his tracks and possibly saving England from being invaded, and also founding Switzerland. It is truly amazing what the man did. But the detail gos on to the battles, places, even what people wore and ate, and how the Templars actually lived and fought. The detail is simply amazing!
In between the necessary gory battles that are so vividly violent and the horrid customs of that time, I loved the captivating romance of Richard and Elizabeth, that starts on such a nasty note but ends so beautifully.
I also loved the information on Gnosticism. Turns out, "The Brotherhood," the secret society within the Templars were Gnostics, and this is actually the backdrop of the whole novel. Splendid.