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Deciding to Set The Youngest Templar in France

When I began plotting THE YOUNGEST TEMPLAR trilogy, I knew that book two would be set primarily in France. There were several reasons why.

First, the Kingdom of France had just unified under Philip I during the time our story is set. Before Philip solidified his control, it was essentially a land of several different baronies and duchies. Yet even though he was the French King, Philip had a very tenuous grasp on his throne. Some people just don’t like being ruled by monarchs and the French citizenry in the late 12th century was no exception.

Second, putting Tristan in another strange and unfamiliar place only ratchets up the drama. He is a stranger in a strange land, forced to make his way toward England by guile and smarts. It provided a brilliant canvas for Tristan to grow as a character.

But the real clincher for me came during my research on the hundreds of Grail legends when I learned about Montsegur. Or as it is often called “The Grail Castle.” If you Google Montsegur you will find a picture of it, perched high upon a mountain top in the southern Pyrenees. It is a dramatic setting for any story and when I dug into its history as a central part of Grail legend but also as a Cathar stronghold, I knew it was going to play a significant role in The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate.

I can’t really say too much more without giving away a large portion of the novel. Let’s just say there are many different legends surrounding Montsegur and I have reworked many of them into the story. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

If you haven’t read Book 1, you should probably read it first.

Download the Reading Guide for Trail of Fate.

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