Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007-2013. Please give credit where credit is due.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Book notes No. 21 : The Last Templar, Raymond Khoury

Minus four degrees at 9am. Bright and sunny. The only clouds I can see are those made when I breathe out. For the last week or so, the hillside has been ringing with chainsaws, a sign that it's tree-cutting season. And today is no exception.


"A sure sign of a lunatic is that sooner or later he
brings up the Templars"...(Umberto Eco, apparently.)


Okay, okay, so Umberto Eco has me classified as a lunatic.

So sue me - join the queue.


This book has been lurking around in my Amazon recommendations list for what seems like decades. And finally, when someone very near and dear to me gave me an enormous Amazon gift voucher for my birthday, I knew the time had come.

The Last Templaris a good read, much in the same vein as Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, but with lots more history, theology and archaeology thrown in.

The story starts with the interruption of the gala opening of an exhibition of Vatican treasures by four horsemen in Templar garb wielding broad swords and doing a fair amount of damage, and leads by some fairly gripping leaps and bounds to a reasonably unexpected conclusion on an island in the Dodecanese. Along the way, our heroine tussles with her ambition and our hero suffers a crisis of faith, various documents are discovered and decoded, and not one, but two antiheroes are unmasked. There's a fair amount of blood, rather a lot of gratuitous breaking of fingers and a number of drowning horses. There's also an interesting sub-plot that's skillfully intertwined with the main storyline.

If you like this kind of thing, what makes this book worth reading perhaps more than some others in this genre is Khoury's ability to portray his main characters in three dimensions. No cardboard cutouts, no black and white. An admirable skill.

If you set aside the violence, it's a pretty good book.

But, by God, if the publishers, Duckworth, don't start employing proofreaders soon (my estimate for this job would be a measley 150 squids, kindly note), I'll be donning me chainmail, grabbing the nearest pure white steed and crashing into Cowcross Street to do a bit of damage of me own!




Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007, 2008, 2009. All rights reserved. Please ask first.

7 comments:

LadyFi said...

Ha ha about the proofreading.... very annoying, isn't it?

I thought the story was a good holiday read! But it's one of those stories I've read and since forgotten!! Not sure if that says more about me or the book though! ;-)

Anonymous said...

This book is probably not for me, disliked everything about the Da Vinci Code. But thank goodness we all don't like the same things, how boring that would be.

Veronica Lee said...

Great blog. Welcome to MBC!

Annette Piper said...

This sounds like a good read - I will have to add it to my to read list :)

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Men in chainmail, gratuitous breaking of fingers, mayhem. Crisis of faith as frosting on top! Whats not to like. It shall be forthwith put down on my library request list!

If it is a story finely told, I just hope they dont ruin it by making a movie out of it. Da Vinci Code was forever ruined for me by Tom Hanks greasy locks.

Louise, Carmine Superiore said...

Dear Another Kiran in NYC : Da Vinci Code was forever ruined for me by the mere THOUGHT of Tom Hanks in the lead. He must have paid a lot of money for the part! Thanks for your comments! L.

Louise, Carmine Superiore said...

Hey LadyFi - yes, annoying on two counts...first that the text is littered with so many errors that it's insulting to the reader and second that they don't just call me up!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Book notes No. 21 : The Last Templar, Raymond Khoury

Minus four degrees at 9am. Bright and sunny. The only clouds I can see are those made when I breathe out. For the last week or so, the hillside has been ringing with chainsaws, a sign that it's tree-cutting season. And today is no exception.


"A sure sign of a lunatic is that sooner or later he
brings up the Templars"...(Umberto Eco, apparently.)


Okay, okay, so Umberto Eco has me classified as a lunatic.

So sue me - join the queue.


This book has been lurking around in my Amazon recommendations list for what seems like decades. And finally, when someone very near and dear to me gave me an enormous Amazon gift voucher for my birthday, I knew the time had come.

The Last Templaris a good read, much in the same vein as Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, but with lots more history, theology and archaeology thrown in.

The story starts with the interruption of the gala opening of an exhibition of Vatican treasures by four horsemen in Templar garb wielding broad swords and doing a fair amount of damage, and leads by some fairly gripping leaps and bounds to a reasonably unexpected conclusion on an island in the Dodecanese. Along the way, our heroine tussles with her ambition and our hero suffers a crisis of faith, various documents are discovered and decoded, and not one, but two antiheroes are unmasked. There's a fair amount of blood, rather a lot of gratuitous breaking of fingers and a number of drowning horses. There's also an interesting sub-plot that's skillfully intertwined with the main storyline.

If you like this kind of thing, what makes this book worth reading perhaps more than some others in this genre is Khoury's ability to portray his main characters in three dimensions. No cardboard cutouts, no black and white. An admirable skill.

If you set aside the violence, it's a pretty good book.

But, by God, if the publishers, Duckworth, don't start employing proofreaders soon (my estimate for this job would be a measley 150 squids, kindly note), I'll be donning me chainmail, grabbing the nearest pure white steed and crashing into Cowcross Street to do a bit of damage of me own!




Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007, 2008, 2009. All rights reserved. Please ask first.

7 comments:

LadyFi said...

Ha ha about the proofreading.... very annoying, isn't it?

I thought the story was a good holiday read! But it's one of those stories I've read and since forgotten!! Not sure if that says more about me or the book though! ;-)

Anonymous said...

This book is probably not for me, disliked everything about the Da Vinci Code. But thank goodness we all don't like the same things, how boring that would be.

Veronica Lee said...

Great blog. Welcome to MBC!

Annette Piper said...

This sounds like a good read - I will have to add it to my to read list :)

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Men in chainmail, gratuitous breaking of fingers, mayhem. Crisis of faith as frosting on top! Whats not to like. It shall be forthwith put down on my library request list!

If it is a story finely told, I just hope they dont ruin it by making a movie out of it. Da Vinci Code was forever ruined for me by Tom Hanks greasy locks.

Louise, Carmine Superiore said...

Dear Another Kiran in NYC : Da Vinci Code was forever ruined for me by the mere THOUGHT of Tom Hanks in the lead. He must have paid a lot of money for the part! Thanks for your comments! L.

Louise, Carmine Superiore said...

Hey LadyFi - yes, annoying on two counts...first that the text is littered with so many errors that it's insulting to the reader and second that they don't just call me up!