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Templars: The Dramatic History of the Knights Templar, the Most Powerful Military Order of the Crusades

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2001

    Well Written But Unfocused

    'The Templars' can best be described as a well written and easy to read summary overview of the Crusades, and lacks the focus required to make it a worthwhile depiction of the history of the Knights Templar.<P> Read begins with the biblical story of Abraham, 1800 years before the birth of Christ and approx. 2800 years prior to the founding of the Templar order. The reader must wade through 56 pages of ancient history to finally observe the formation of Templar society. The author obviously believed this build-up was necessary to gain an understanding of the basis for Templar philosophy and religeous convictions. However the pay-off from this build-up is never realized in the writing, leaving the reader wondering why a summary discourse on 2800 years of middle-eastern history was required at all.<P> The author also tends to digress too far into the biographies of persons sometimes only nominally affiliated with the Templars and whose contributions to their history is minimal. The chapter on Richard the Lionheart is an example of this tendency. While he certainly cooperated with the Templars against the infidel and employed them in an attempt to pacify Cyprus, devoting an entire chapter to his biography in light of his input to Templar history seems excessive and at times tiresome.<P> The same problem exists with Read's descriptions of the origin of Islam and the rise of the Arab threat to Christendom. It was to protect Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land from persecution by Moslem brigands that the Templars were originally formed. However, to side-track the reader who is interested in Templar history with a lengthy review of the Islamic faith and philosophy, is again tiresome and distracting.<P> Overall the reader should be advised that although the writing is quite clear (a welcome change from other books on medieval history), the content is at times confusing by its straying from the stated purpose of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2010

    Where were the Templars?

    I am glad to see that others that read this book noticed that it was not about the Templars at all, but about the Crusades. In fact there were whole chapters the book in which there was hardly a mention of the Templars at all. If you are looking for a history of the Templars you should probably look elsewhere.

    How could the publishers have let this book come out with this title, and how could it have not been changed in the years since it's original publication in 1999?

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  • Posted December 15, 2009

    Good on Crusades, not so much on Templars

    The Templars was an OK read, but it was mainly a history of the Crusades, giving little insight on the Templars. It talked about the founding of the order, then got lost in the Crusades for 90% of the narrative, coming back to the Templars at the end, when the order was taken apart by the Church in Phillip the Fair of France. Not exactly what I was looking for.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2006

    Very detailed and interesting

    This is a very detailed and interesting account of the Templars. I enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2005


    This book is incredibly rich in historical detail, and goes to great lengths to dispel many myths of the order. The format however does not favor a light reader, and some people might be overwhelmed with the vast knowledge displayed in the book. Templars is a must-have for students of the Crusades, the religious orders or the Middle East in general.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2005


    This is an excellent history of the Templars and the Crusades. I read it after reading Karen Armstrong's Holy War. It filled in a lot of blanks and I believe corrected Karen's anti-Christian bias.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2004

    This is a........

    phenominal book that takes into effect the historical history of the knights templar. It was an amazing book that i read for a critical book review. Piers Paul Read makes this history an exciting and wonderous adventure into the world of the first crusade.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2010

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