After enjoying heaping praise for her first two novels, Robyn Young released the conclusion to her amazing
trilogy to great anticipation, at least from this particular reader.†
Crusade captured my
deep interest, making them toughs acts to follow.† Every great story must have an ending and so we have
Fall of the Templars, the final tale of Will Campbell and the Templar Knights.
The Crusades have ended and the Europeans have been dealt major defeats.† Acre is lost and Jerusalem could
not be taken.† The cause has failed and so they return to Europe in defeat and find a dramatic change in the
cultural and political landscapes of their homelands.† The crusaders are greeted with a lukewarm welcome
and waning respect as the ruling class is hesitant to embrace warriors who return in defeat. †Europeís
monarchs are gripped in a power struggle and their willingness to submit to Papal authority is shrinking.†
Among them is King Philippe of France, who has devised a plan to take English lands.† He allies himself
with Scotland and pledges to support the Scots efforts in hope they will sufficiently divert King Edwardís
interest while he pursues his own agenda. †England and Scotland are soon engaged in war that will shape
Willís future and tear at his loyalties.
Hoping to defuse the situation, Will and other Templar leaders meet with King Edward.† A worst case
scenario follows as the Templar Knights join with Edward in his campaign against the rebellious Scots,
forcing Will into a decision.† His allegiance to his homeland is strong.† He resigns his position within
the Temple and joins Scotlandís struggle for independence in a fight which lasts for years.
As turmoil erupts throughout Europe, the Templars are eventually reduced to nothing more than tools
manipulated by individual rulers to serve selfish interests.† The influence of the Vatican is waning in
the face of royal ambition.† Will finds his ideological battles have become more personal, with his own
future and that of his beloved daughter at stake.
Young set the bar quite high with Brethren and Crusade, so she had some lofty expectations
to meet with this novel.† Even though it is a sequel, The Fall of the Templars is significantly
different than its predecessors in substantive ways.† This is a tale of personal journey and discovery as
her main character becomes even more developed than before.† The battle scenes that brought so much action
to the first two novels arenít quite as common here and the parallel is evident with Willís personal evolution.†
Without the Crusades playing a central role, the contrasting dual-viewpoint of this historical period that
added so much to her prior work is missing as well.† This made The Fall of the Templars a more difficult
story to tell, but Youngís style remains true.† In light of that, this is a different novel but still quite
good.† Young is very gifted in the historical fiction genre and Will Campbell is a masterfully crafted hero.†
I look forward to more from her.