The Ring: The Last Knight Templar's Inheritance

Overview

The Ring follows a young New York lawyer who receives two rings — one
from her fiancé and one that will lead her on an
unforgettable adventure.

On her twenty-seventh birthday, New York lawyer Cristina Wilson receives a diamond engagement ring from her fiancé, Mike, a wealthy stockbroker. Later that day, a messenger from Barcelona delivers a beautiful antique jewel, a ruby ...

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Overview

The Ring follows a young New York lawyer who receives two rings — one
from her fiancé and one that will lead her on an
unforgettable adventure.

On her twenty-seventh birthday, New York lawyer Cristina Wilson receives a diamond engagement ring from her fiancé, Mike, a wealthy stockbroker. Later that day, a messenger from Barcelona delivers a beautiful antique jewel, a ruby set in bone, from a mysterious sender. Cristina wears them both, unaware that they are incompatible. The ruby soon works its mysterious effects, giving her strange and unsettling dreams.

Cristina is swept away to Spain to attend the reading of her godfather's will, where she reunites with her first love, Oriol, and soon the powerful attraction that once overwhelmed them in their adolescent years is rekindled. Together Cristina and Oriol embark on an odyssey in search of a Templar treasure that has remained hidden for centuries in a place that only they can uncover. From New York lawyer to intrepid adventurer, Cristina experiences a profound journey of love, life, and death as she learns an unforgettable lesson that could redirect the course of her destiny.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Cristina Wilson, the heroine of Molist's subpar adventure novel, receives two rings on her 27th birthday: one an engagement solitaire from her longtime boyfriend, the other a ruby set-in-bone from her dead godfather, Enric. The arrival of Enric's ring sets in motion a chain of events (strange dreams among them) that sends Cristina to Barcelona for the reading of Enric's secret will. In Spain, Cristina is reunited with old flame Oriol, whom Cristina partners up with after reading a letter from Enric that tells her to "[f]ind that treasure that I couldn't find." Molist throws many familiar obstacles in their path as they search out the treasure: paintings with hidden clues, a crooked art dealer, a mysterious guardian, modern-day Templars, the ancient diary of a Templar monk and a hidden treasure that may be the Holy Grail are all trotted out before the mystery is solved. Though the passages describing Barcelona are well done, the narrative's hobbled by weak prose (exclamation points are much abused), characters that act as pawns of the plot and improbable twists. There are much stronger contenders in the Templar subgenre. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Barcelona's Molist, head of the European Branch of Paramount Home Entertainment, combines the history of the Templar Knights with chick lit in a thriller that offers an insider's view of the beautiful Spanish city, but ultimately turns out more snooze than thrill. Cristina, born in Barcelona of a Spanish mother and American father, spent the most memorable days of her youth in Spain with her buddies Luis and Oriol, playing treasure-hunting games conjured up by Oriol's father, Enric. But when she moved to the United States as a teen, Cristina lost contact with her friends. Years after Enric's suicide, Cristina receives a mysterious ring, as well as a summons to a "second" reading of Enric's will. She goes to Barcelona over the objections of her mother and the man she is engaged to marry. When she arrives, Cristina teams once again with her friends to find a treasure rumored to belong to the Templar Knights with postmortem clues courtesy of Enric. Although her mother warns against it, Cristina soon moves from her hotel into the home of Oriol's mother, the oddly menacing lesbian Alicia. Meanwhile, Cristina also runs into the handsome man she met aboard her flight from New York, with whom she feels compelled to flirt even after discovering he may not be all he appears. Shadowed by an oddly fierce and menacing stranger, Cristina suffers through vivid nightmares rooted in a violent and unknown past. She tries to decipher the dreams, as well as Oriol's sexual leanings and feelings for her. As the three old friends draw closer to the truth about the treasure, Cristina grows to understand Oriol and his obsession with finding it. Molist's book is crammed with pages of tediously reported history,seen through the eyes of one of the characters. Although an attorney, Cristina's conversations and judgment are more what one would expect of a 15-year-old, and the plot is neither intricate nor clever. Peppered with irrelevant detail and dialogue documenting every dull moment of Cristina's quest, the book fails to incite reader interest or empathy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743297516
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publication date: 5/6/2008
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jorge Molist is a native of Barcelona and currently runs the Spanish branch of a well-known American company. He lives in Spain. The Ring has been translated into twenty languages and sold in twenty-five countries. Visit his website at www.jorgemolist.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

It's not often that a woman receives two engagement rings in one day. That's what made my twenty-seventh birthday so special.

The first ring was a stunning diamond solitaire from Mike, the man I'd been going out with for over a year. A real coup.

Mike's the perfect guy, the kind every girl dreams of. Or at least should be dreaming of, and if she's not, her mom definitely is. Any mother would be thrilled to marry her daughter off to someone like Mike. He's not just a stockbroker, but also the son of the company's owner, with a future beyond promising. You could say that he was born with a silver bond in his mouth.

The other ring was a surprise. It also demanded a commitment from me, but it had nothing to do with wedding vows. Or did it? That second ring would engage me not to a man, but to an adventure, an unusual adventure.

Of course, when it arrived I didn't know that. I didn't even have a clue as to who could have sent it to me. And if someone had told me who it was, I wouldn't have believed it. The second engagement ring was a gift from a dead man.

• *

Neither did I know at the time that the two rings, or I should say, the two commitments, were incompatible. But I kept them both and started getting used to the idea of a wedding and changing my last name to Harding, although I was very intrigued by the other strange ring. I'm a very curious person, so mysteries really get to me. But I suppose I should just tell you how it all happened...

The party was in full swing when there was a knock on the door. My friend Jennifer, in her long dress with its plunging neckline, and Susan, in tight, low-slung pants, had started to dance, flirting with the men. The guys, some of whom already had a few drinks under their belts, followed them with their eyes. Those girls really loved to tease! Then a couple of clowns joined them, drinks in hand, and that got the dancing started all around.

I didn't mind that those two booty-shaking women were making the guys drool. I was an engaged woman and Mike, my gorgeous fiancé, held me by the waist. We kissed. We laughed. We sipped our drinks. I was flashing on my hand an awesome engagement ring with a hefty multicarat diamond. Mike had given it to me a few hours earlier, in the elegant French restaurant, near my apartment on the east side of Manhattan, where he had taken me out to lunch for my birthday.

"Let me choose the dessert today," he'd said.

The waiter brought me a magnificent chocolate soufflé. I'm crazy about chocolate, so I dove in, but after the third or fourth mouthful, my spoon hit something hard.

"Life is like a chocolate soufflé," Mike said in his best Tom Hanks-as-Forrest Gump imitation. "You never know what you'll find inside." I think he was trying to warn me. The way I was wolfing down the soufflé I might have swallowed whatever was in there.

As I pushed aside the soufflé, I got a glimpse of a sparkle inside the luscious dark chocolate. I'd been expecting that one of these days my stock-market genius would present me with a small fortune in the form of a diamond ring, wrapped in promises of eternal love.

"Happy birthday, Cristina," he said very seriously.

"But this is a...!" I screamed, sucking the chocolate off the ring.

"Will you marry me?" He was down on bended knee.

How romantic! I thought to myself.

The waiters and patrons at nearby tables, whose attention had been drawn by my shriek, were watching us with curiosity. I became thoughtful and, enjoying the show, looked around — the Persian rug, the lavish crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling, the drapes. I acted as if I was mulling it over. Mike watched me anxiously.

"Of course I will!" I said when the suspense had reached its climax.

I jumped up from my chair and kissed him. He smiled, and the elegant audience gave us an enthusiastic round of applause.

But let's get back to the party...

Amid the sound of clinking glasses, the music, and the simultaneous conversations, I didn't hear the buzzer, but John and Linda did and opened the door. Instead of calling me, they decided the visitor was so interesting that everyone should get a look at him. So they asked him to come in. I found myself facing a very tall man decked out in black motorcycle gear, who hadn't even deigned to take off his helmet when he entered the apartment.

"Miss Cristina Wilson?" he asked.

I felt a chill run down my spine. There was something sinister about the man. It suddenly felt as if he'd brought in all the darkness of the night outside. Someone had lowered the music and everyone was listening attentively.

"That's me," I replied. Then, a moment later, I smiled.

Of course! That guy was going to sing "Happy Birthday" and do a striptease! A little surprise gift from one of my girlfriends, probably Linda or Jennifer. It would be fun. He paused and unzipped his jacket. Just as I thought he was about to take it off to reveal his buff triceps, he pulled out a small package from an inside pocket. The guests gathered around us, exhilarated.

"This is for you," he said, handing it to me.

I took the package, but kept looking at him expectantly, waiting for the show to begin. But instead of bumping and grinding, he unzipped another pocket and took out a pen and a piece of paper.

"Can I see some ID?" he asked curtly.

That seemed a bit much, but I had to go along with the joke. So I searched for my driver's license and showed it to him. He calmly jotted down the information. He was a consummate actor; we were all glued to his words and slightest movements. Was he about to start singing?

"Sign here."

"Okay, are you going to get on with it or what?" I said once he had my signature; all this intro was too much.

He gave me a strange look, tore off a copy of the document, handed it to me, and with a "See you later," he left.

I wasn't expecting that, and I shot Mike a puzzled look. He shrugged his shoulders. I looked at the paper the messenger had given me; the copy was almost illegible and I could make out only my name. There was no sender.

"Wait!" I shouted and ran out after him.

I couldn't find him in the hallway; he had taken the elevator.

I went back inside, where Mike still had a puzzled look on his face. So he wasn't a birthday surprise; he was a real messenger. I was intrigued. Who could have sent me that package?

"Are you going to open the present or not?" asked Ruth.

"We want to see what it is!" said a man's voice.

I realized that I still had the package in my hands. I had forgotten about it because I'd been focused on the man dressed in black.

I sat down on the sofa and rested it on the glass coffee table. I tried unsuccessfully to remove the cord tying the wrapping. Everyone crowded around me, asking what it could be and who had sent it. Someone brought me the cake knife, and when I got it open I found a small box of dark wood with a metal clasp. I could tell that it was very old.

And inside, nestled in a green velvet cushion, was a gold ring inset with a deep red stone. It looked antique.

"A ring!" I exclaimed.

I tried it on and it fit loosely on my middle finger. I left it there, next to the diamond that sparkled on my ring finger.

Everyone wanted to see it, and there was a round of oohs and aahs.

"It's a ruby," said Ruth.

She is an expert in antique jewelry at Sotheby's and knows a lot about gemology.

"It's strange looking," said Mike.

"That's because centuries ago they didn't cut stones the way they do now," replied Ruth. "The cutting was rudimentary and the gems were polished into round shapes, like this ruby."

"How mysterious!" exclaimed Jennifer, before losing interest in the whole affair.

The music was turned back up and she started dancing. The party revived to the beat of her shaking booty.

While Mike mixed some drinks, I took a closer look at the box and the ring. And the delivery slip. There it was, on the coffee table. I had trouble reading it because the carbon had barely left an impression on the paper, but I finally made out: Barcelona, Spain.

My heart skipped a beat.

"Barcelona!"

That city certainly brought back a lot of memories.

Copyright © 2004 by Jorge Molist Translation copyright © 2008 by Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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Introduction

Discussion Points

1. This novel carries the epigraph "Hidden in his papal ring, there lives a demon." What does this mean in relation to the novel?

2. Cristina wears two rings. Compare and contrast these pieces of jewelry. What do they each represent? How are they at odds?

3. Cristina sees herself as someone for whom catastrophic events cause a kind of impulsiveness, even arousal. What significant events in the novel have this effect on Cristina, and what does she do as a result? Objects, scents, and sounds often trigger memories. What triggers memories for Cristina, and what does she remember?

4. Were your suspicions aroused when Artur Boix first appeared sitting next to Cristina on the plane? Why or why not? What did you think he was up to?

5. Cristina says that, as a lawyer, she is well trained to pay close attention to detail. Do you agree with this assessment of her? Why or why not?

6. As Alicia examines the Templar ring, she explains that rubies come as male and female, Mars and Venus, and that the temperament of each is different accordingly. Discuss the many ways in which male and female roles and sexism come into play in this novel.

7. Alicia Núñez is one of the most complicated, mysterious characters in the book. Luis calls her a witch, Cristina's mother doesn't trust her, but the neo-Templars follow her, and Oriol encourages Cristina to share her visions with her. What do you think of Alicia? Did your opinion of her change at various points in the story? Why or why not?

8. When Maria, Cristina's mother, finally reveals her secret, are you surprised? Did you sympathize with her? Explain your opinion. What would you have done in hershoes?

9. The history of celebrating the solstice is an ancient one on the European continent, rich with symbolism and meaning. What effect does the seaside, almost-pagan celebration have on Cristina? How does it change her?

10. What does Brother Arnau mean on page 333 when he tells Cristina that the danger is in Barcelona and that "the Saracens are coming back"?

11. Why do you think Cristina tells her mother that she plans to break off her engagement to Mike, even though she is returning to New York? What, ultimately, was she looking for in Barcelona? Did she find it?

12. There are several serious issues and themes just touched upon in this fast-paced thriller, such as loyalty, marital roles, AIDS and homosexuality, promiscuity, religious devotion, and violence in the name of God. Why do you think the author wove these kinds of questions into the background? What effect do they have on your reading experience?

13. What do you make of the ending? Were you satisfied by the first and final outcomes of the treasure hunt? What has changed for Cristina by the time her grand adventure in Barcelona is over?

Enhance Your Book Club Experience

The city of Barcelona and islands along the coast of Spain provide a rich backdrop to this historical, romantic, and suspenseful story. Read through a traveler's guide or visit www.spain.info in order to map out the locations visited by Cristina and her companions.

Much has been written about the Poor Knights of Christ, popularly known as the Knights Templar. Do a little research on the members of the Order and see how the historical information available lends credence to (or contradicts) the fictional accounts given in The Ring. You can start with The Templar Revelation, by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince, or visit www.templarhistory.com.

Gothic and medieval artwork plays an important role in the novel and in the treasure hunt. Using the internet or art books, choose a selection of religious works from the 13th and 14th centuries portraying Jesus and Mary or the saints, particularly those with relationships to the Templars — Saint George and Saint John the Baptist — and bring copies to share with the members of your book club.

Jorge Molist is a native of Barcelona and currently runs the Spanish branch of a well-known American company. He lives in Spain. The Ring has been translated into twenty languages and sold in twenty-five countries. Visit his website at www.jorgemolist.com.

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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Points

1. This novel carries the epigraph "Hidden in his papal ring, there lives a demon." What does this mean in relation to the novel?

2. Cristina wears two rings. Compare and contrast these pieces of jewelry. What do they each represent? How are they at odds?

3. Cristina sees herself as someone for whom catastrophic events cause a kind of impulsiveness, even arousal. What significant events in the novel have this effect on Cristina, and what does she do as a result? Objects, scents, and sounds often trigger memories. What triggers memories for Cristina, and what does she remember?

4. Were your suspicions aroused when Artur Boix first appeared sitting next to Cristina on the plane? Why or why not? What did you think he was up to?

5. Cristina says that, as a lawyer, she is well trained to pay close attention to detail. Do you agree with this assessment of her? Why or why not?

6. As Alicia examines the Templar ring, she explains that rubies come as male and female, Mars and Venus, and that the temperament of each is different accordingly. Discuss the many ways in which male and female roles and sexism come into play in this novel.

7. Alicia Núñez is one of the most complicated, mysterious characters in the book. Luis calls her a witch, Cristina's mother doesn't trust her, but the neo-Templars follow her, and Oriol encourages Cristina to share her visions with her. What do you think of Alicia? Did your opinion of her change at various points in the story? Why or why not?

8. When Maria, Cristina's mother, finally reveals her secret, are you surprised? Did you sympathize with her? Explain your opinion. What would you have done in her shoes?

9. The history of celebrating the solstice is an ancient one on the European continent, rich with symbolism and meaning. What effect does the seaside, almost-pagan celebration have on Cristina? How does it change her?

10. What does Brother Arnau mean on page 333 when he tells Cristina that the danger is in Barcelona and that "the Saracens are coming back"?

11. Why do you think Cristina tells her mother that she plans to break off her engagement to Mike, even though she is returning to New York? What, ultimately, was she looking for in Barcelona? Did she find it?

12. There are several serious issues and themes just touched upon in this fast-paced thriller, such as loyalty, marital roles, AIDS and homosexuality, promiscuity, religious devotion, and violence in the name of God. Why do you think the author wove these kinds of questions into the background? What effect do they have on your reading experience?

13. What do you make of the ending? Were you satisfied by the first and final outcomes of the treasure hunt? What has changed for Cristina by the time her grand adventure in Barcelona is over?

Enhance Your Book Club Experience

The city of Barcelona and islands along the coast of Spain provide a rich backdrop to this historical, romantic, and suspenseful story. Read through a traveler's guide or visit www.spain.info in order to map out the locations visited by Cristina and her companions.

Much has been written about the Poor Knights of Christ, popularly known as the Knights Templar. Do a little research on the members of the Order and see how the historical information available lends credence to (or contradicts) the fictional accounts given in The Ring. You can start with The Templar Revelation, by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince, or visit www.templar history.com.

Gothic and medieval artwork plays an important role in the novel and in the treasure hunt. Using the internet or art books, choose a selection of religious works from the 13th and 14th centuries portraying Jesus and Mary or the saints, particularly those with relationships to the Templars — Saint George and Saint John the Baptist — and bring copies to share with the members of your book club.

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Add it to you beach tote for Summer reading!!

    This was the first I had heard of writer Jorge Molist. It was refreshing to emerse myself in a story without expectation. <BR/><BR/>A well written tale that takes place in exotic locals and the mysterious history concerning the Knights Templar uncovered by three childhood friends who reconnect after years of separation. All generated by a ring. The love triangle seemed to fizzle rather than sizzle, but the upside for me was good action, and you'll learn a lot about the Crusades.

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