cover image Templar's Acre

Templar's Acre

Michael Jecks. Simon & Schuster U.K. (IPG, dist.), $19.95 trade paper (576p) ISB

Jecks's stirring 32nd Knights Templar mystery, a prequel, takes series hero Baldwin de Furnshill back to his beginnings for what may well be the knight's final adventure, according to an author's note. In 1291, war between Christians and Muslims has been raging in the Holy Land for many years; the only city that remains under Crusader control is Acre. At age 16, Baldwin de Furnshill, has his first taste of battle when the ship carrying him and other pilgrims to the Holy Land is attacked by enemy vessels. Once in Acre, Baldwin joins the fight to prevent the Muslims from taking over the city. The tender relationship between Baldwin and the love of his life, the slave Lucia, provides some needed relief from the brutality and the slaughter. New readers will want to seek out other books in the series, while established fans will find this a thoughtful and touching conclusion. (Nov.)