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Why Mike Wrote The Youngest Templar Books

As a child, I was fascinated by the stories and legends of the Middle Ages, particularly the Third Crusade; the time of Richard the Lionheart, Robin Hood and Elinor of Aquitaine. I loved the high adventure, the epic battles, and the political intrigue. When I began writing, I knew I would set a book during this period. There were just too many great stories.

When I was in college I first became familiar the Knights Templar. A monastic order first founded in 1104, they were first given the duty of protecting pilgrims on the roads to Jerusalem. Because they were quartered in Solomon’s Temple, they became known as the Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ and King Solomon’s Temple, or simply The Knights Templar.

Their numbers grew and so did their influence. In a short time, some could argue the Knights Templar became the most powerful and influential military force in the Christian world. Much of this has to do with the enormous wealth they amassed. Where did this great wealth come from? That is one of the great historical mysteries.

Shortly after arriving in Jerusalem the Knights began a massive excavation in the Temple. What did they find beneath one of the most holy places in the World? No one knows. Perhaps it was the Holy Grail. Maybe it was the One True Cross or the Lost Ark of the Covenant. It is this mystery that has confounded scholars and conspiracy theorists alike for hundreds of years.

We only know that from their humble beginnings they became enormously wealthy. And in fact their great riches lead to their downfall. On October the 13th, 1307 King Philip IV of France in league with Pope Clement V condemned the Templar’s as heretics and ordered them executed. In reality Philip wanted their massive wealth. Knowing the end was coming, the Templar’s hid their riches and the treasure was never found. It remains missing to this day. Many of the Templar’s, including the Master of the Order Jacques de Molay, were burned at the stake. (This is where the origin of Friday the 13th as an unlucky day comes from.)

So in this world, I set my new novel THE YOUNGEST TEMPLAR: Keeper of the Grail. The hero, Tristan becomes a squire to a Templar Knight and during a critical battle in the Holy Land he is given the Holy Grail and ordered to return to England for safe-keeping. Along the way he is pursued by Saracens, spies and secret agents of the crown. It’s full of action, adventure and as I always insist, stuff blowing up.

I hope you enjoy it!

Download the Reading Guide.

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