The Lion of the Cross – Tales of a Templar Knight

Written by T.M. Carter
Review by Susan Adler

This is one of the best historical fiction novels I have read about the Templar Knights. The detail, description of Templar life, weaponry, and descriptive battle scenes reflect extensive historical research.

The events described in the book occurred in the late thirteenth century. The hero, Wasim (later called William), is the son of a captive Christian mother and the Mameluk Sultan Baibars. He is raised as a Muslim prince and begins his military training at a very young age. When his family is overthrown, William escapes Egypt in the company of a captive Templar and when he is older, becomes a Templar Knight himself. Eventually, William fights at the siege and fall of Acre in 1291.

The various relationships between the Mameluks, Mongols, Crusader States various European kingdoms and city states during that time period can be complicated but T. M. Carter does a great job in providing good background on these relationships without the book becoming a treatise or disrupting the dialogue. The author skilfully describes the events from the perspectives of different characters and the narrative is fast paced and detailed without being overloaded with descriptions.

I really hope there is a sequel.

E-book edition reviewed