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Knights Of The Black And White Hardcover – Aug 1 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Canada; First Edition edition (Aug. 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670045136
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670045136
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 4.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 862 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #241,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

The Stuff of Mystery and Legend: a note from author Jack Whyte

Best-selling novelist Jack Whyte, whose nine-novel cycle on the Arthurian legend has captivated readers internationally since first being published in 1992, now brings his analytical and interpretative storytelling skills to bear on the Order of the Temple, tracing the rise and fall of the greatest and most mysterious of the Military Orders. Knights of the Black and White, the first novel in the Knights Templar trilogy, examines the story of those nine original knights and offers a feasible and logical explanation of where they came from, why they did what they did, and how they were able to unearth their treasure. Author Jack Whyte took time out from writing to set the stage for this dramatic new Templar trilogy:

This is the year of the Knights Templar, with popular interest in the medieval Order and its lore stirred up as never before by the success of The Da Vinci Code and other thrillers it has inspired. The Templars, it is known, had a wonderful Treasure, its existence verified by historical record. But the treasure disappeared some time after being shipped from Acre in the Holy Land, just before the collapse and destruction of the Templars and their fortress there, to the island of Cyprus, and it has never been seen since.

What that treasure actually was, and what happened to it once it left Cyprus, is unknown, but historical records indicate that the Order of the Temple was founded by nine penniless knight monks, who formed a brotherhood in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, in the second decade of the twelfth century, for the ostensible purpose of protecting the Christian pilgrims using the roads to visit the Holy Places. They were the first religious Order ever to be entitled to kill in the name of God. The same records indicate that in return for their unpaid services, the knights were given permission to occupy the abandoned stables on the Temple Mount below the Al Akhsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, where for the next nine years, working in secrecy, they tunneled downward through the rock to find the remnants of the original Temple of King Solomon, and the treasure hidden there. Whatever that treasure was, they retrieved it and took it back to Europe, where the mere knowledge of their possessing it enabled them, within the next forty years, to become the strongest, wealthiest and most powerful organization in the Christian world. This is the stuff of mystery and legend, but the question that begs to be asked is: how did the nine original monks know where to look?

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran of eight Arthurian novels (The Lance Thrower, etc.), Whyte turns to the Crusades with this tedious first volume of a Knights Templar trilogy. In 1088, young knight Hugh de Payens is initiated into the secret Order of the Rebirth of Sion, who believe the Christian Church to be "an invalid creation... built upon a myth." Founded by Jewish families fleeing the Romans, the Order believes that the truth about Jesus and the founding of Christianity lie buried beneath the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. When Pope Urban calls for a Holy Crusade to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims, the Order"given to interminable monologues"sees an opportunity to perhaps retrieve those ancient documents and sends Sir Hugh and others to join the Crusaders, yakking the whole way. After the bloody fall of Jerusalem, Sir Hugh establishes a new order of warrior monks as a cover for the excavation of the Temple Mount, and the race is on to find the hidden treasure, if it exists, before their activities are discovered. This tepid Templar foray will be crowded out at the gates. (Aug.)
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Scott Willis on Sept. 3 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ah, after finishing his Roman/Arthurian series (which is quite brilliant and one of my favourite series) I patiently waited for the first of his Templar books to arrive. It did arrive and I quickly devoured it. What a beginning, and I say that because I realize this is a trilogy and so what we get here is the very beginnings of another generational story (as it begins in 1099 at the formation of the knights templar, and we know from history that their demise did not occur until October on Friday the 13 of 1307 I believe). We get introduced, like the first two books of "A Dream of Eagles", to the forefathers of the story, Hugh De Payens, Godfrey St. Omer, and Stephen St. Clair (along with the other of the original 9 knights Templar). We spend the first quarter of the book in the company of the first two fellows, and the latter part mostly with St. Clair, and though you can feel the switch, which I think had to happen, you still fell as you did in Eagles Brood when Luceia and Publius took the back seat and role of teacher. It is very much the same here. Where as the earlier two fellows are very thoughtful about EVERYTHING they do, St. Clair is in turn reckless to a degree, and I liked that. The main female character in this one is the King of Jerusalem's second daughter Alice, and boy oh boy do we love to hate her. She is dripping with such nastiness. She is a very strong character, but in that villainous way.

Long story short, this book takes ideas from Holy Blood Holy Grail about what the grail actually IS and makes them rather fresh, because I think we ALL know now that the chances that it is a cup are slim to none, so this story is timely, for we have never before heard the story of the Templar knights, and if their story is half as intriguing as A Dream of Eagles was to Arthur, then we have begun something extrordinary.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By RLH on Nov. 27 2006
Format: Hardcover
Don't be swayed too much by connections to Holy Blood, Holy Grail - this book is storytelling at its best - the things that little boys dream of - knights in shining armour and ladies - well 'lady' aka alice is a stretch...Lincoln's blood/grail is a treatise which at times reads like fiction - but that's as far as it goes - it's not good fiction and it does 'go on' at times -

I'm not a fast reader and i've finished this is a few days.

I have been to France a dozen times in the past several years and i ve read many (all?) the books associated with the Magdalene myth as well as the Cathar legend - although interesting, i found many of these books poorly written (read grammar!). Whyte writes using the Queen's English. He uses correct grammar and his vocabulary is extensive as is his knowledge of early Christianity, the Muslim world and the history of the first crusade. I can't wait for the next book in this series. I've just discovered Mr Whyte, so in the meantime, i ll get his other books.

I highly recommend this very enjoyable saga.

richard harrop (toronto)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read a few things about the Knights Templar over the years, as have many of the other reviewers here. To those of you who read every word of Holy Blood/Holy Grail: my hats off to you. I painstakingly read the first half and forced myself to skim the second half just to be able to say I read it - dry -dry -dry!

I am not quite done Knights of the Black and White but I am a little miffed by the hijacking of the story by Princess Alice and the sudden maturing of Stephen St. Clair when he is being interviewed by Bishop Odo; maybe I missed it, but it seemed the young uncertain boy becomes the savvy politico in the space of heartbeat. I recognized this as the turn that will wind down to the end of the book; and maybe it will all come out in the wash.

The foundation of the book is masterfully written, imbuing historical characters and events with personality and colour; allowing the reader to follow history as it unfolds through the eyes of lovable, or less-than-lovable in the case of Bishop Odo and Alice, characters.

Jack Whyte's command of the English language and grammar is impeccable. Nothing more need be said on that account.

All in all this book is a good read and brings ideas to light that require some pondering in this modern age of ours where God has not failed us but religion has.

Steve Bonin - Toronto
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mr. Whyte does a very fine job is the blending of historical events and Knight Templar history - very good research. Those wishing to learn factual based knowledge about the Knights Templar will be disappointed as this book is as stated - fiction. It does offer the reader, as in my case, a great read and is a real page-turner. I sailed through all three. He did a great job, leading me to purchase some of his other works. He has matured in this series compared to his last.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian Luinstra on May 16 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Good book - great character development and an interesting story. The book somewhat lacks a climax as, for myself anyway, the end was somewhat predictable. That being said I think the groundwork has been laid for an exciting second and third book and I will definitely be picking up the second of the trilogy as soon as it is released. The book is a more substantial read than the typical Knight's Templar or Da Vinci-type thriller but is worth the extra investment of time.
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