I am a big fan of Michael Jeck's Templar series, which now runs to a considerable number of books. The first book The Last Templar having been written in 1995. This book being number twenty five in the series. The author has on occasions taken his lead character, Sir Baldwin de Furnshill away from his manor in the West country and sent him further afield, even in one book to the shrine at Compestela, in Spain. For me personally the books that feature Sir Baldwin, Keeper of the King's Peace for Devon and the surrounding area, ably assisted in his duties by his friend, Bailiff Simon Puttock, are best when our worthy knight stays close to home, but that is just my own opinion and anyway the opportunity to read a new book in the series is always a something to look forward to.
In the previous book, The Templar, the Queen and Her Lover, Sir Baldwin had been sent to Paris, to escort Isabella, Queen of England in her task of trying to bring peace between England and France. In this book, The Prophecy of Death, having had false accusations of murder laid against him while in France, Sir Baldwin and his good friend Simon are more than a little relieved to be back across the channel in England, but that relief is to be short-lived.
Sir Baldwin and Simon soon find themselves embroiled in the devious goings on of the English court and are desperate to get away from the subterfuge and back biting that seem common place in Edward`s court. The relative peace and quiet of the West country seems a long way away. Sir Baldwin, once a member of the disbanded Templar knight's is always fearful of his past catching up with him. Baldwin was one of the few who escaped the wholesale slaughter of the Order of Templar's, including their leader, Jacques de Molay, who was burnt at the stake by order of the then French King, Philip IV, with the blessing of the Pope. Baldwin knows that the English court is one of the more likely places that his previous existence may catch up with him. Though not in the least ashamed of his Templar roots, Baldwin is astute enough to know that they could still cost him his life.
England is in turmoil, not least because of Edward's annoying habit of ignoring his nobles and their wishes, preferring low-born favourites of his own choosing and the King has also exacerbated the situation by foolishly putting aside his Queen, Isabella, a dangerous thing to do to the sister of the French King. For the moment at least Isabella is still in France trying to negotiate a lasting peace with her brother, King Charles IV, but for how long? The actions taken by Edward, to confiscate her income and take her children away from her, do not bode well for the future of the country in general and Edward II in particular . . . Comment Comment | Permalink
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