The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate, Michael Spradlin, Putnam’s, October, 2009, $17.99, 240, pages, ISBN: 9780399247644, reviewed by Barry Hunter.
At the conclusion of the first book, out heroes were sailing home to England when a storm overtook them and Tristan was washed overboard. As this book opens, Tristan is awakened on a beach with six swords pointed at him. He finds he has been discovered by a group of Cathars that are being hunted by the soldiers of the French King. Robard and MaryAm arrive to rescue him, only to find out they are friendly and the rescue is not needed.
Princess Celia and her band of Cathars are on their way to Montsegur to hold up until her father returns from an audience with the French King. Tristan, Robard, and MaryAm set out for the coast. They meet the King’s Guard and try to throw them off the track but find one of Celia’s guards dying after fighting the King’s guard. Tristan makes an oath to aide Celia and they head to Montsegar.
Sir Hugh of the Templars joins the Kings Guard in order to track down Tristan and obtain the Grail at any cost. There is a siege of Montsegar with Tristam planning the strategy he has to escape to force Sir Hugh to follow them and save Princess Celia.
The escape almost works until they are captured by King Richard’s men and taken to Sir Hugh and Eleanor of Aquitaine. As Tristan’s companions are being prepared to be hung, Tristan is about to find out about his origin, the book ends in a cliff hanger worth of any serial of the 1940s.
This is a very enjoyable and well written series. It is well researched and the writing makes the lesson in history learned more fun that expected. Be on the lookout for both volumes and those forthcoming in the future. It is enjoyable by young and old.