AUTHOR = Michael P. Spradlin
GENRE =Action, Adventure, Historical Fiction
INTEREST LEVEL = Years 7 – 9
Tristan has been raised by monks since he was abandoned at the monastery as a baby. He doesn’t know his parents and he knows little about the world beyond the monastery walls. This doesn’t stop him from bravely answering the call to become a squire to Sir Tristan, a Templar knight who is bound once more for the Crusades in the Holy Land. Soon Tristan is thrust into the middle of the battlefield and must fight bravely to defend his king. Just as he is getting used to this tough life he is thrust on an even greater adventure: to return the Templar’s greatest treasure, the Holy Grail, to Scotland. He is joined on this journey by a brave young archer, Robard Hode and an Assassin, Maryam. Not only must they defend the grail, Tristan must also defend himself against the Marshal of the Order, Sir Hugh Monfort, an evil and cowardly knight who seems bent on Tristan’s destruction. Does Sir Hugh really know the story behind Tristan’s parents? Why does the King sometimes look at Tristan with fear in his eyes? And has his beloved benefactor, Sir Thomas, really betrayed him?
There is plenty of action and adventure in this tale set in the Middle Ages. The mediaeval world is credibly conveyed and the action races along. Cleverly woven into the main story are tributes to the Robin Hood legend, as Tristan meets Little John (a blacksmith) and the archer Robard (a 17 year old farmer’s son from Nottingham) and the brave Maryam.
Perhaps the only downside to this ripping yarn is the final page which says “to be continued…” – keen readers will be awaiting the second installment impatiently, as the novel ends in mid-ocean and mid-adventure. Sure to be enjoyed by readers of The Rangers Apprentice series and anyone who enjoys their adventure mixed with a little history. To read more about this book and its creator, click on the novel cover in this post.
Highly Recommended (dma). *****