Templar by Jordan Mechner Book Review

Templar by Jordan Mechner
Illustrations by LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland
Publisher: FirstSecond
Release Date: July 9, 2014

When the Templar Knights of France are taken prisoner, part of a political conspiracy to destroy the knights and obtain their wealth, Martin is one of the few who manage to escape. The pope and king aim to frame the Templars for heresy, execute them all, and take the legendary treasury. However, Martin and few other surviving knights learn the real location of the treasure and although they cannot save their brothers, they can and will save the thing that they are dying for.

In a story worthy of the Three Musketeers, Templar is a rolling adventure with all the necessary elements. Heroes, rogues, wicked bad guys, virtuous Templars, a secret treasure, and lots of stealth, I was gripped from beginning to end. Like the Complete Don Quixote graphic novel, this one is not small, but I definitely felt like I was reading a fully realized novel rather than a short story. In fact, I kind of didn't want it to end. I want a Templars 2.

What I really loved about this book was the historical accuracy. The lengths that the author and illustrations went through to ground this story within a historical context, while still creating such a great action adventure was great. Some parts, due to the true nature of the story, were hard to read. I know there is evil in this world, we see it every day when we watch the news, but being reminded of the cruel inhuman things that people have done to one another is heart-breaking. Set against this backdrop were all these wonderful characters with a fascinating array of personality quirks. The ending is bittersweet, but felt right. I hope that others who read this story will also be intrigued enough by the events to perhaps learn more about the truth (and not the conspiracies) behind the Templars.