Searching for purpose, Will McBride, a young man in 14th-century Scotland, encounters two Templar Knights and ultimately aides them as they attempt to mount a new Crusade to regain a foothold in Jerusalem with the goal of rebuilding Solomon’s Temple and heralding in the “End Time.”
Intrigued by his own Scottish heritage, debut Australian novelist Logan began researching the history of Scotland from the 14th to the 18th centuries. In the process, he became especially fascinated by the real saga of Sir Walter and Sir Robert Logan, brothers and knights. After the Catholic Church disbanded and excommunicated the Order of the Templars, in 1312, a number of knights escaped the European continent and continued their order under the protection of Robert the Bruce of Scotland. This much is history; the rest of the tale is imagined adventure, historical battles intertwined with Celtic mythology, a dose of Arthurian legend and enough magical idols with special powers to keep the fanciful satisfied. Sprinkled in is a trunk-full of sage advice and cautions dispensed to Will by a variety of mentors. There is plenty of interest in this dense volume—political intrigue as early kings vie for power, wealth and land; secret battles between Catholic priests and Templar Knights, each claiming to represent the true way to serve God; plus the search for hidden Templar gold and silver and a secreted statue known as the “Black Madonna” dating back to the days of Queen Esther of ancient Persia. There are also some engaging depictions of 14th-century day-to-day life. Unfortunately, grammatical problems—“more clearer,” “more easier,” punctuation oddities, etc.—prove distracting. Similarly out of place are the occasional colloquial phrases inappropriate for the period—“I tell you he is one sick puppy”—which are especially jarring in a narrative that otherwise tries to re-create the cadence of the time.
Requires some suspension of disbelief and an appreciation for medieval mythology.