templarTemplar: a graphic novel about the dissolution of that famous order and the struggle for the legendary treasure that they left behind. A couple of weeks ago, I read the first book in this series and I enjoyed it more than this complete volume. It was the ending that diminished my enjoyment of it the most, which I won’t get into because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but that was really my issue. Mechner ties up the major plot points, but I didn’t like how he did it- at all.

Like the other book, this contains adventure, daring rescues, and amusing “heist movie” type moments. We’ve also got a strong female lead in Madame De Chalancon (love interest) who is actually very hard core for a 12th century woman. She’s sneaking out at night and running around with the guys, stealing horses, manipulating the powerful men around her, kissing people- I mean, that kind of stuff could have gotten her burned as a heretic or witch back then. So, that was good and the other characterizations are solid. The illustrations aren’t gorgeous (compared to Monstress #1 or Saga, Volume 1) but those are considered adult graphic novels while this one is marketed for the teen set.

Which reminds me, there’s a whole scene that takes place in a Turkish steam bath that some parents may find objectionable. I’d let my kid read it, but she’s a girl and has the parts that are revealed through the steam and also, I’m a librarian, and I don’t censor stuff. But yeah, there’s some (very tasteful) nude females, torture scenes, hand to hand combat, men being burned at the stake, arrows through limbs… I honestly think that this may have been better as a mature book than a watered down PG13, but it is what it is.

Still, it is a fun story and semi-educational in that some of the people featured in this book were actual historical figures. Mechner includes his sources in the back and also some recommended reading. I think I’m going to look into Foucault’s Pendulum, which I’ve never read, but Mechner gives high praise.

Some more graphic novels that teens may enjoy are The Guild (ties in to the show of the same name) or the surprisingly fun, Nimona.

Thanks for reading!

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