October 29, 2009 is the day! The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate is officially on sale wherever books are sold. This week at Team Spradlin we’re celebrating the completion of a new deal with Tick Tock Books of the United Kingdom who will be publishing The Youngest Templar trilogy in England.
Reviewers continue to rave about The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate.
Roundtable Reviews for Kids says: Trail of Fate is another intriguing novel that should appeal to advancing readers who like a lot of adventure. The ties to historical facts will help educate some readers to that era making it useful for school too.
There is plenty to talk about with this novel and it could make for exciting classroom discussions. I definitely recommend it!
And Fantasy Book Critic says: One of the hardest parts when writing a historical fiction book for younger readers is making sure that if you are using historical facts that they be presented but not preachy and make the children feel as though they are reading a factual book. Michael Spradlin did a great job of having fictional characters but also tossing in a lot of facts that might not be otherwise known to readers. As I don’t remember a lot about the Crusades I found it enlightening and little informative.
This week, we answer a question asked via email by reader Mitch, from Dayton, Ohio.
Dear Mr. Spradlin—I read and enjoyed your book The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail and am anxiously awaiting The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate. I am working on a school project and would like to know more about the history of the Knights Templar and how they were founded…
Mitch, your best source for Templar history and info is www.templarhistory.com. Here is a brief excerpt of a larger article on the founding of the Knights Templar:
Within two decades of the victory of the First Crusade (1095-1099) a group of knights led by Hugues (Hugh) de Payens offered themselves to the Patriarch of Jerusalem to serve as a military force. This group – often said to be nine in number – had the mandate of protecting Christian pilgrims who were en route to the Holy Land to visit the shrines sacred to their faith.
Somewhere between the years of AD 1118 – 1120, King Baldwin II granted the group quarters in a wing of the Royal Palace on the Temple Mount (the Al Aqsa Mosque). It has been generally accepted that, for the first nine years of their existence, the Templars – as they came to be known – consisted of nine members.
Although it has been widely speculated that the Templars wished to keep it this way to cover their secret mission of digging for buried treasure on the Temple Mount, the simple fact remains that the lifestyle adopted by the Order was not to everyone’s taste. As such, the Templars had difficulty in recruiting members to their cause in the early years.
In the year 1127 the Cistercian abbot, Bernard of Clairvaux, wrote a rule of order for the Templars that was based on his own Cistercian Order’s rule of conduct. Additionally, Bernard did a great deal to promote the Templars.
Perhaps Bernard’s greatest contribution to the Order was a letter that he wrote to Hugues de Payens, entitled De laude novae militae (In praise of the new knighthood.)
This letter swept throughout Christendom drawing many men, of noble birth, who joined the ranks of the Templar Order. Those who were unable to join often gifted the Templars with land and other valuables.
While it is true that the Templars were not permitted, by their rule, to own much of anything personally, there was no such restriction on the Order as a whole. As such, the gifts of land were accepted and put to immediate use by the Templars, who farmed the land generating additional wealth.
Over the years the Templars rose from their humble beginnings to become the wealthiest of the Crusading Orders – eventually garnering the favour of the Church and the collective European monarchs.