Once again, being the history lover that I am I couldn’t turn away a new book drawing its plot from historical events. God’s Forge is based around the order of the Knights Templar and the attempt by the King of France to seize their stronghold and destroy them. The book begins at the end of the Crusades and then flashes forward to the Knights guarding their Paris stronghold in the early 1300’s.
“A legion of elite, monastic fighting men, the Knights Templar were the most fearsome warriors of the Crusades, writing their legend in the gory sands of the Middle East with the blood of their enemies and their own. It was they who took the Holy Land, and they who held it. Answering only to the Pope, they bowed before no king or crown. Returned from the Crusades and stationed in Paris, Brother William has grown disillusioned with the Order and plans to leave it. But as their Paris stronghold is seized by royal troops, William leads a small band of Templars in a desperate escape, fleeing with them into the night. Alternately fighting and running, struggling to understand the world that has turned on them so viciously, they cross paths with a brutalized young prostitute. Open and proud about her sins, she ushers William and his comrades toward dark truths about the city festering around them, about its rulers and the church they’ve sworn to defend—all in a race to escape that will leave the streets of Paris bloody and end the pursuit of these soldiers of God.”
Immediately upon starting God’s Forge the reader is introduced to Brother William of the Knights Templar. With all of the heroics expected of a brother of the Knights Templar he is helping to rescue people as their city is sacked and burned around them. We meet him at the peak of his time in the order and he is fully committed to his vows to serve God and protect God’s people. At the start of Chapter Two we move forward many years in the future, the Crusades are over and the prime of the Knights Templar is fading. Brother William has come to accept that the Order of the Knights Templar isn’t what it used to be and he has made his intentions clear…he will be resigning from the Order. The night before he is set to leave the Paris stronghold the King of France surrounds the stronghold, seizes control and raids their coffers. While the King’s men are arresting (or killing) the Knights in the stronghold Brother William manages to escape with a few men and a young squire.
The story really starts to pick up after Brother William and his group escape. It’s hard to say too much without giving the story away. All I can say is that the Knights Templar had a lot of money in their coffers, the King of France was broken and Pope Clement V wanted them disbanded. Brother William and his survivors were on a mission to try to save the Order and their reputation. Could they do it? What does history say? It’s a great story!
I loved reading God’s Forge. There were times in the story when it was kind of slow but there is a lot of back story to set up, especially for readers who are not familiar with the history of the Knights Templar and early 1300’s Europe. It’s not a complicated story and by no means do you have to be a history expert to enjoy this book. All I mean is that readers who are familiar with the story of the Knights Templar and the challenges they faced at the hands of the King of France and Pope Clement V there are a few moments that are a little slow. It’s still a great read. Personally, I loved it.
Review by Ashley LaMar
Closed the Cover