Sunday, August 30, 2009

THE YOUNGEST TEMPLAR: TRAIL OF FATE, Book #2 by Michael P. Spradlin

The tale of Tristan, a young squire of the Knights of the Templar, continues. At the end of KEEPER OF THE GRAIL Book #1, Tristan's fate was in question as he sailed into a horrible storm. Book #2 begins as Tristan wakes to discover that he has survived, but he doesn't know where he has washed ashore or what is in store for him.

When he awakes he is surrounded by a half dozen people with weapons drawn. Tristan is able to use his limited French to determine the leader of the group is a beautiful young woman named Celia, and he has indeed washed ashore along the coast of France.

Soon Tristan's partners, Robard and Maryam, make an unexpected appearance and the new adventures begin. Tristan's old friends pledge to defend him as he decides to help Celia and her followers outwit the High Counsel of France. What follows is one trick after another as Tristan attempts to throw the High Counsel off the Cathars' trail.

Just when Tristan thinks all he has to do is help the Cathars and then resume his journey to deliver the Grail, his enemy Sir Hugh, arrives to make things difficult. Sir Hugh has supposedly joined forces with the High Counsel to rid the region of Cathars, but his real objective is to find Tristan and seize the precious Grail for himself.

Book #2 is filled with enough sword fights, bows and arrows and crossbows, battering rams, and flaming pots of liquid lard to satisfy any teen looking for adventure. Author Michael P. Spradlin takes his readers into a century long ago but makes it seem alive and relevant today. Tristan is a likeable hero with incredible courage, a clever mind, and a sense of humor one doesn't expect in a character from the middle ages. It is going to be difficult to wait for Book #3 to find out where Tristan's adventures will take him next.

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