The Last Templar (Sean Reilly and Tess Chaykin Series #1)

The Last Templar (Sean Reilly and Tess Chaykin Series #1)

3.6 253
by Raymond Khoury
     
 

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In a hail of fire and flashing sword, as the burning city of Acre falls from the hands of the West in 1291, The Last Templar opens with a young Templar knight, his mentor, and a handful of others escaping to the sea carrying a mysterious chest entrusted to them by the Order's dying Grand Master. The ship vanishes without a trace.

In present day Manhattan,

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Overview

In a hail of fire and flashing sword, as the burning city of Acre falls from the hands of the West in 1291, The Last Templar opens with a young Templar knight, his mentor, and a handful of others escaping to the sea carrying a mysterious chest entrusted to them by the Order's dying Grand Master. The ship vanishes without a trace.

In present day Manhattan, four masked horsemen dressed as Templar Knights emerge from Central Park and ride up the Fifth Avenue steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the blacktie opening of a Treasures of the Vatican exhibit. Storming through the crowds, the horsemen brutally attack anyone standing between them and their prize. Attending the gala, archaeologist Tess Chaykin watches in silent terror as the leader of the horsemen hones in on one piece in particular, a strange geared device. He utters a few cryptic Latin words as he takes hold of it with reverence before leading the horsemen out and disappearing into the night.

In the aftermath, an FBI investigation is led by anti-terrorist specialist Sean Reilly. Soon, he and Tess are drawn into the dark, hidden history of the crusading Knights, plunging them into a deadly game of cat and mouse with ruthless killers as they race across three continents to recover the lost secret of the Templars.

Author Biography:
RAYMOND KHOURY is an acclaimed screenwriter and producer for both television and film. Educated in France and the United States, Khoury now lives in London with his wife and two children. This is his first novel.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The war between the Catholic Church and the Gnostic insurgency drags on in this ponderous Da Vinci Code knockoff. The latest skirmish erupts when horsemen dressed as knights raid New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, lopping off heads and firing Uzis as they go. Their trail leads FBI agent Sean Ryan and fetching archeologist Tess Chaykin to the medieval crusading order of the Knights Templars. Anachronistic Gnostic champions of feminism and tolerance against Roman hierarchy and obscurantism, the Templars, they learn, discovered proof that Catholic dogma is a "hoax" and were planning to use it to unite all religions under a rationalist creed that would usher in world peace. Screenwriter and first-time novelist Khoury spices up the doctrinal revisionism with Da Vinci-style thriller flourishes, including secret codes, gratuitous but workmanlike action scenes and a priest-hit man sent out by the Vatican to kill anyone who knows anything. The narrative pauses periodically for believers-vs.-agnostics debates and tutorials on everything from the Gospel of Thomas to alchemy. Though long-winded and sophomoric, these seminars are a relief from Tess and Sean's tedious romance, which proceeds from awkward flirtations as they listen to Sean's mix CD to hackneyed intimacies about childhood traumas. The novel's religious history is as dubious as its conspiracy plot, but anti-clericalists-and Catholics taking a break from the church's real headaches-could unwind with it. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
With "Templar" in the title, this debut novel will inevitably draw comparisons to Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Set in post-9/11 New York City, the action begins with a daring raid on the Metropolitan Museum of Art by four horsemen during the gala opening of an exhibition of Vatican treasures. When one of the witnesses to the crime, archaeologist Tess Chaykin, recognizes that the bandits masqueraded as Knights Templar, Chaykin and FBI agent Sean Reilly become involved in an intrigue whose roots date back to the 1291 fall of Jerusalem. Among the artifacts stolen from the museum is a rare rotor encoder. What will it decode? Can Chaykin and Reilly authenticate certain Templar assertions? How far will the Vatican go to protect the faithful? Khoury proffers a unique Templar secret and a subsequent Vatican cover-up that, if revealed, would change Christendom forever. For those fatigued by the recent spate of Mary Magdalene/Holy Grail books, this novel will come as a welcome relief. Recommended for most popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/05; also coming in February is Steve Berry's The Templar Legacy from Ballantine.-Ed.]-Laura A.B. Cifelli, Fort Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., FL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Keep the code, scratch da Vinci. It's 1291, and in Jerusalem, the Knights of the Templar-long allied to the established church-are taking a pasting from the Saracens. The Grand Master Templar, seeing the handwriting on the wall, summons trusted aides, and places in their care an unassuming little item containing metaphoric dynamite. Flash forward 700-plus years to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's the fancy opening of a special exhibit: Treasures of the Vatican. Crashing the event are four marauders on horseback, wearing iron clothing and masquerading as Knights of the Templar. They gallop up the steps of the Met clearly intent on larceny-of a particular kind, it turns out, when they ignore the sumptuous array of glittering prizes in favor of a gadget described in the catalogue as a "multigeared rotor encoder." Lovely, feisty Tess Chaykin, an archaeologist, is witness to the curious events. Her interest changes from mild to near-obsessive as she continues to ponder implications: If an encoder is so urgently sought, she reasons, it follows that somewhere there's a really big-time code in need of breaking. Enter stalwart, semi-hunk FBI counter-terrorism expert Sean Reilly, who is equally struck. And more than a little struck by Tess as well. Now enter the bad guys-chief among them a rogue archaeologist with an unquenchable hate for organized religion, and his opposite number, a Catholic priest with ninja-type moves. The game's afoot, a humongous mystery needs to be solved, and at the center of it is a certain Jeshua of Nazareth, carpenter, who kept a meticulously detailed personal journal, and who may or may not have been "just a man."A mostly implausible first novel.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451219954
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/28/2006
Series:
Sean Reilly and Tess Chaykin Series, #1
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
400,530
Product dimensions:
4.37(w) x 7.57(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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