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Tales of the Knights Templar de Katherine…
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Tales of the Knights Templar (edició 1995)

de Katherine Kurtz (Autor)

Sèrie: Knights Templar (3), Adept (3b, Short Story - Obligations)

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The Knights Templar was a military order founded during the time of the crusades to protect pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. Legend endows the Templars with magical powers with which they are said to have altered the course of history. The Temple and the Crown picks up in 1306 with the crowning of Robert Bruce in Scotland. Bruce immediately faces a challenge to his throne, and Pope Clement and King Philip of France, jealous of the Knights' magical powers, wealth, and charm, have them arrested on trumped-up charges of black magic, blasphemy, and consorting with the Devil. The Templars' only hope is to flee as fugitives and seek a new home...and a safe haven for the mystical treasures they guard.… (més)
Membre:kstahl10
Títol:Tales of the Knights Templar
Autors:Katherine Kurtz (Autor)
Informació:Aspect (1995), Edition: Reissue, 320 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Detalls de l'obra

Tales of the Knights Templar de Katherine Kurtz (Editor, Contributor)

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Es mostren totes 3
Here's an odd little book that I picked up for a song at a Friends of the Library book sale. Although LibraryThing lists it as the fourth book of Katherine Kurtz's Adept series, that applies to only one of the stories collected here. Similarly, although the entire volume is included as the third book of the Knights Templar series by Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris, this book appears to be the first of those to have been published, and its contents span a full range of Templar history, quasi-history, and pseudo-history from the twelfth century to the present. The individual tales all have their first publication in this book, and they were written by what appears to be a loose cabal of contemporaneous authors, many with social ties beyond their collaboration on this project.

Kurtz serves as the editor, and presents the stories in a roughly chronological sequence--albeit somewhat muddled by instances of prophetic precognition, astral consultation of the past, and straight-up science fictional time travel. In between the stories, she supplies bridging "interludes" that address themselves to the broad outlines of Templar history as conventionally understood. She also wrote the story "Obligations" that is part of the continuity of her Adept series.

The quality of the tales is rather variable, but mostly quite good. Easily my favorite is "Choices" by Richard Woods, which affords a very informed take on holy orders and heresy in fourteenth-century Paris, with Meister Eckhart as a principal character. Tanya Huff's "Word of Honor" was a slick trans-Atlantic ghost story. I was also impressed with the Nazi quest for Templars in Scott MacMillan's "1941," which reminded me of my recent read of Klaus Mann's Mephisto, transposed to the register of a weird horror short story. The dog of the bunch was "Stealing God," a Templar-flavored espionage urban fantasy that was basically a shorter version of Charles Williams' War In Heaven with massive infusions of Hollywood-style stupid.

Although the facing-title page contains a small advertisement for the Templar-claimant chivalric and benevolent SMOTJ, I think this book should be entertaining on some level to Masonic and occultist neo-Templars as well. Although I'm hardly anxious to read them, I would pick up another book in either of the related Kurtz series on basis of the virtues in this one.
1 vota paradoxosalpha | Dec 28, 2018 |
My reaction to reading this anthology in 1995. Spoilers follow.

“Introduction”, Katherine Kurtz -- Brief history of the Knights Templar through the defeat of the crusaders in 1187 at the Horns of Hittin.

“The City of Brass”, Deborah Turner Harris and Robert J. Harris -- Before I read a recent issue of the comic book The Invisibles, I’d never heard of the head of John the Baptist allegedly being possessed by the Knights Templar. This story is a nice mixture of fact and fantasy. The main character is a Baphomet-worshipping Templar who wishes to corrupt the Order. He is dispatched by Saladin to the fantastic City of Brass, founded by descendants (his journey is a nice job of blending a journey in real lands into a fantasy realm) of Cain who worshipped John the Baptist’s head and held blasphemous ideas about it. He retrieves it, and the story concludes with him taking it to the Templars – the clear insinuation being that not only will worshipping the head lend credence to the charge of idolatry against the Templars but also spiritually corrupt them. Interestingly, according to the editor’s afterword, there really was a group of Christians Mandaeans aka the Nasoreans – who had John the Baptist’s head for awhile.

“End in Sight”, Lawrence Schimel -- A character study in why Jacques de Molay, last Grand master of the Templars, chose not to flee Philip IV’s suppression of the Order though he must have known it was imminent.

“Choices”, Richard Woods -- A straight, well-done historical tale set in the wake of the Templar suppression circa 1312. Woods does a nice job conveying the feel of the time and its personalities. I found the details (not all that extensive) of Free Spirit (a libertine philosophy) and Beguine heresies (further proof that there are no new heresies in Christendom) interesting. The same goes for the portrayal of the cynical Grand Inquisitor Guillaume Imbert. He doesn’t really believe the Templars are guilty, that their destruction is necessary for the Pope and Philip the Fair but not the faith. I liked the character of Meister Eckhart, a protege of the Master of the Friars Preachers who refused to go along with suppressing the Templars. I liked his conversation with Guillaume about how any one could seem to be a heretic if his writings are minutely examined out of context by men with “narrow but penetrating minds”. Yet Guillame also regards freedom of conscience as dangerous. I liked the Templar character carrying out vengeance against Guillame, and the Templars still being a lure to a young student despite their suppression.

“Obligations” Katherine Kurtz -- This story links the Adept series co-authored by Kurtz and her Lammas Night. I didn’t particularly care for most of the atmospherics and plot elements like astral projection and reincarnation. However, I did like certain speculations an the historical mystery of what happened to the Templar fleet when the order was surprised. Kurtz adopts the Masonic belief that it went to Scotland, that many Templars fought for Robert the Bruce, and Templar mysteries were passed on in Masonry (via the Scottish Rite). Kurtz does even more intriguing things with the rumors that the Templars practiced idolatry or had the Holy Grail. Kurtz has the Templars worshipping a head – but not that of John the Baptist or Baphomet – but rather the image of Christ on his burial cloth. That shroud is, by virtue of being a container of sorts for Christ’s blood, the Holy Grail.

“Word of Honor”, Tanya Huff -- Basically a mixture of ghost and ancient curse story. A rich man commissions a young woman to return a valuable piece of jewelry, part of the Templar treasure taken to Scotland, to the grave of the man his ancestor stole it from. The young woman resists the temptation to steal the jewelry and is protected by the ghost of the dead Templar.

“1941”, Scott MacMillan -- MacMillan mines the fertile ground of the Nazi obsession with the occult to present the mostly entertaining tale of the ambitious, weasly Major Becker of the SS who is on a personal mission for his boss Himmler. Specifically, Himmler wants Becker to convince the current Master of the Order of the Temple to resign and name Himmler as his successor (Himmler wants access to alleged Templars secrets). In return, the expected Nazi victories in North Africa will lead to a new Templar kingdom in Jerusalem. The end is expected, abrupt, and uninteresting. Becker is killed by Templar agents via magic. The story ends with some possibly true historical details on the still extant Templar archive and Templar ruins in France.

“Knight of Other Days”, Elizabeth Moon -- This story has an intriguing setting for a Templar story – Texas in the 1950s – and good characterization, but the plot didn’t ultimately gell. The Templar transplanted to a different time and place who finds more of the crusading spirit alive in a village boy than the local priest was interesting. However, the brujo in town and her feuds with the priest and the Templar ultimately giving her the holy relic of a bone from Christ – rather than giving it to the priest – wasn’t well worked out and didn’t advance the theme of medieval crusading any. This seemed like a story using the Templar idea to add a little colorful characterization and not an exploration of the Templar legend.

“Stealing God”, Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald -- A humorous story written in the hardboiled detective style. This one is narrated by a member of the inner temple of the Templars, an agent assigned to retrieve the Holy Grail. Along the way a beautiful, deadly nun is met along with Prester John, Satanists (or “Lucies”) and Cathars. The story ends on a bad pun. As the introduction notes, this story sees the Templars as special operatives on the astral plane.

“Death and the Knight”, Poul Anderson -- Anderson puts his skill at writing historical and science fiction tales to good use in this hard-bitten addition to his Time Patrol series. A Time Patrol academic, in love with a Knight Templar, thus revealing the charges of homosexuality leveled against the Templars to not be totally false, tries to warn his lover of the Templars coming suppression at the hands of Philip the Fair. His lover jails him for the trouble, hoping to hand him over to the Inquisition as a sorcerer if the suppression does occur. Later he dies, trying to free him, when the Time Patrol mounts a rescue operation to get their operative. Anderson’s libertarian tendencies are quite evident in this story (I think this, for its length, may be even more political than Anderson’s Boat of a Million Years). Philip the Fair’s France is the “modern, almighty state” in embryo about to give birth to the line of “Louis XIV, Napoleon, Stalin, IRS”. (It’s interesting to note Anderson doesn’t mention the usual villain – Hitler. I suspect he’s reminding readers that Stalin was the 20th Century’s worst nightmare.) It’s a land much like one of the temporal agent’s homes – “late twentieth century USA” – a “tightly pulled net of regulations, duties, social standing, tax collection, expectations of how to act and speak and think”. Anderson makes a valid comparison between rapacious Philip the Fair’s totalitarian, superstitious domain and modern America. Torture, terror, and death are what governments deal out in Anderson’s view. The government the Time Patrol has the unpleasant task of preserving is much like any other. It even interferes in sex lives with it’s sodomy charges against the Templars. ( )
1 vota RandyStafford | May 21, 2013 |
OK stories, ranging from mildly interesting to good - but nothing I'll miss when I swap it this week (it's been requested, that's why I'm reading it). The future Templars story was pretty good (for a short - I wouldn't want to read a whole novel of it), the timejumpers one was kind of silly, and the ones that depicted the Templars in the run-up to their dissolution were - well, OK. I'm not a Templar fan, they weren't very interesting to me. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | May 16, 2008 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Kurtz, KatherineEditor, Contributorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Anderson, PoulCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Doyle, DebraCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Harris, Deborah TurnerCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Harris, Robert J.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Huff, TanyaCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
MacDonald, James D.Col·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
MacMillan, ScottCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Moon, ElizabethCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Schimel, LawrenceCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Woods, RichardCol·laboradorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat

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Adept (3b, Short Story - Obligations)
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Non nobis, Domine, non nobis,
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Not to us, not to us, o Lord,
But to your name give glory.
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To the Knights of the Order of the Temple of Jerusalem,
Past, Present, and Future
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In 1118, a French crusader called Hughes de Payens and eight fellow knights founded the Military Order most commonly known as the Knights Templar. (Introduction)
The killing began at noon. ("The City of Brass", Deborah Turner Harris and Robert J. Harris)
Even the Grand Master was not allowed to eat alone. ("End in Sight", Lawrence Schimel)
Rain had fallen throughout the sullen day. ("Choices", Richard Woods)
Rain was pelting down in earnest as Sir Adam Sinclair swung his hired car off the M-20 Motorway, skirting Ashford to head south along a single-track road. ("Obligations", Katherine Kurtz)
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

The Knights Templar was a military order founded during the time of the crusades to protect pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. Legend endows the Templars with magical powers with which they are said to have altered the course of history. The Temple and the Crown picks up in 1306 with the crowning of Robert Bruce in Scotland. Bruce immediately faces a challenge to his throne, and Pope Clement and King Philip of France, jealous of the Knights' magical powers, wealth, and charm, have them arrested on trumped-up charges of black magic, blasphemy, and consorting with the Devil. The Templars' only hope is to flee as fugitives and seek a new home...and a safe haven for the mystical treasures they guard.

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