The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail
By Michael Spradlin
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Reviewed by Stephen Dafoe
Keeper of the Grail is the first book in a new series of young adult novels by Michael P. Spradlin. If the first book is any indication of what’s to come in the rest of the series, readers are in for a treat over the next few years.
It is not uncommon for me to receive books that read like they were written by a child. It is not often, however, that I get sent a book actually intended for children. But don’t let the target audience stop you. This book is better written than most Templar fiction and more historically accurate than most Templar nonfiction.
The central character in the novel is a young man named Tristan, an orphan living with a group of Monks. After being visited by a regiment of Templar knights, Tristan is offered an opportunity to serve one of the knights as a squire.
Spradlin sets his story in 1191 AD, at the dawning of the Third Crusade. Saladin has recently captured the Holy Land and King Richard the Lionheart is about to set sail to take it back. The adventure truly begins when Tristan leaves the only home he has ever known to embark on the biggest adventure of his life.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Not only is it a fast-paced and enjoyable read, it is one of those rare books today that hearkens back to a time when books for boys were about masculine things, and unapologetically so.
Whether you have a young adult on your book buying list, or just want an enjoyable read for yourself, this is the start of a promising series.
Michael P. Spradlin Talks About The Series
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