Order in Chaos
Putnam, Aug 2009, $26.95
In 1307, King Philip IV of France declares all Knights of the Templar as outlaws. With the support of Pope Clement V, the monarch orders his armies to arrest all the knights and confiscate their treasure. They are to kill any who resist and torture those caught so reveal the hidden cache. The Pope directs the Holy Inquisition against the Templars.
The double prong assault leaves the Templars with little protection. Those still free are rodents hiding in holes. Warned by the Grand Master, Templar knight Sir William St. Clair leads some of his peers and Widow Lady Jessica Randolph to Scotland where King Robert Bruce offers them sanctuary in return for them joining his side against the English and rebels allied with their enemy. Knowing their time is over, William releases his men from their sacred vows and after the battle at Bannockburn pledges to find the mythical Merica.
The final tale of the Templar saga (see KNIGHTS OF THE BLACK AND WHITE and STANDARD OF HONOR) comes across more as a historical account rather than an action-packed medieval suspense thriller. Readers learn in great detail re what and why the Pope and the French king conspired to destroy the religious order. Still fans who relish deep doses of realism that feel as if you are there will enjoy Jack Whyte’s fascinating final account that is filled with early fourteenth century betrayals, counterplots and little action as William and his followers discuss freedom more than fight for freedom.