Standard of Honor
Standard of Honor is the second volume of Jack Whyte’s Templar trilogy. The story opens in 1187 with a small host of Crusaders preparing to face vastly superior Saracen forces in the Battle of Hattin. Alexander Sinclair is a young Scots Templar who fights heroically until he falls wounded. He escapes into the desert only to be taken prisoner.
In Europe, Richard I is assembling the armies of the Third Crusade. He calls upon his old master of arms, Henry St. Clair, to take up the cross and manage his forces. St. Clair accedes to his liege’s wishes in tacit return of a favor from Richard to his son, André. Richard then decrees that André will join the order of Templars and accompany him to the Holy Land as well. Unbeknownst to either Richard or Henry, André and the captive Alec Sinclair are members of the ancient and secret Brotherhood of Sion. Their paths would soon cross and their missions merge in the deserts of Outremer.
The novel opens and closes with battle scenes, written as only Jack Whyte can. His love of military strategy and medieval armament permeate the story, and a reader looking for action will not be disappointed. Yet Standard of Honor has a decidedly reflective side to it. True to the book’s title, its characters think hard about Richard’s perfidy and duplicitous behavior, his treatment of Jews, about the greed and venality of Church and Temple leaders. The question they wrestle with: How does a man set a standard of honor?
Thus, Standard of Honor can be read as an excellent Templar adventure or as an excellent Templar adventure with a great deal of food for thought. Either way, it’s going to be a great read.