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Sunday Salon: The Youngest Templar and the Oldest Me

Posted by Sherry on 9/28/2008 in 2008, Children's Fiction, General |

It hasn’t been much of a reading week. Instead we’ve had lots of after-Ike fun and several family crises and issues.


I did read an ARC that I got a couple of weeks ago called The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail by Michael P. Spradlin. It’s an adventure story for kids/YA in the same vein as the movie adventures Raiders of the Lost Ark or Star Wars. However, this adventure is set during the Third Crusade with Richard the Lion-Hearted and a Robin Hood-ish character making major appearances. Our young hero, Tristan, is an orphan of mysterious parentage, raised in St. Alban’s Abbey, and at the age of fifteen asked to become the squire of Sir Thomas Leux, a member of the Order of Knights Templar. In quick succession, events unfold: Tristan acquires a powerful enemy, meets the King of England, travels to the Holy Land, participates in a battle, and is given a very important mission.

I enjoyed the book very much, and I think any boy (or girl) with an interest in knights and castles and battles will like it, too. However, there is a huge problem with the book. You’ll notice that the small print on the cover of the book says “Book 1”. The book ends with what can only be called a cliffhanger, completely unresolved, and the next book is due to be published in Fall 2009. If you can live with the cliffhanger that is LOST, and the many other unresolved story lines that we get in book series and TV series nowadays, stories that are “to be continued” a whole year from their initiation, then go ahead and read The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail. If not, you could wait until next year to start the series, but since I’m betting that there will be a third book, or maybe even more, you may not want to hold your breath until the adventure ends.

This one is all about movement and plot, thrills and spills, and as Mr. Spradlin’s website advises, “Action. Drama. Humor. And stuff BLOWS UP.” I don’t exactly remember where anything blew up in this book. I think it’s setting is pre-gunpowder. But there are swords, slicing and dicing, and assassins. What more could you ask for?

By the way, I think I’ll try this: I See What You’re Saying., if I can manage to upload a video. I’ve never put a picture of myself on the blog for the same reason I don’t look in the mirror too often. This way, I don’t have to stare at myself, and I can pretend I still look the same way I did when I was twenty-something. I don’t mind being fifty-one, but I don’t like the way I look as much as I used to. Nevertheless, this will be a one-time thing, and I hope some of you will participate, too. I’d enjoy seeing (and hearing) some of you whose voices I have only seen in print.

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