A colorful tale of the long revenge of the Templars that often makes for compelling reading.



A historical novel that dramatizes the survival of the Order of the Knights Templar.

Lindley’s ambitious two-part debut concerns the titular knights, a group that was founded in the 12th century. It fought its way to legendary status during the Crusades, but was disbanded in disgrace in 1312 by papal decree. Lindley builds his novel on the events following the order’s destruction by King Philip of France, who issued arrest orders for the Templar leadership, including Grandmaster Jacques de Molay. These leaders are tortured by members of the Dominican Order into confessing the order’s alleged sacrilegious secrets; in the aftermath, knights flee to far outposts of Europe and plot their vengeance on the order that brought them down. The author grounds the sections set in the 14th century by occasionally shifting their focus to the year 2010 to detail the story of Jesuit brother Aloysius Daly, whose research into the Order reveals the destruction of Dominican churches and monasteries. Lindley follows the fleeing Templars first to Scotland for the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, and then, in the second volume, to the Battle of Morgarten in Switzerland the next year. The author packs both parts of his book with a large cast of vividly drawn characters, and his action scenes are consistently engaging. A good deal of the novel’s rhetoric has a melodramatic tone that calls to mind his fellow Templary novelizer, Sir Walter Scott. For instance, take this passage from the torture of de Molay: “Pinioned in chains he too, like his brethren, discovered that unlike blows and wounds taken in the rush of battle, his naked flesh could not indefinitely hold out and withstand the intolerable pain, unremittingly and mercilessly applied.” However, readers should note that the book is also oddly formatted, with no indents to be found.

A colorful tale of the long revenge of the Templars that often makes for compelling reading.

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9572944-2-4

Page Count: 396

Publisher: Nielsen Book

Review Posted Online: June 7, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

Did you like this book?

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize

  • National Book Award Finalist


Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet