"Philip IV was one greedy royal.
Le Roi de fer (the “Iron King”) ruled France with an iron fist, financing his costly, incessant wars by shaking down the Church, Jews, bankers, and ... on Friday the 13th October, 1307, Philip fell on them like a falcon on a rabbit.
"The English Templar" is a captivating fictional account of this shameful event, and its disastrous effects on a noble French family brave enough to hide Sir Percival de Lacy, an English Templar caught in Poitiers when Philip pounces.
Author and historian Helena Schrader knows her century and her subject; two of her novels – "Knight of Jerusalem" and "St. Louis' Knight" – were recently named Finalists for the 2014 Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. They’re among a suite of well-received novels Schrader sets in the so-called “Age of Chivalry.” ... Schrader’s "English Templar" echoes the coarse brutality of this calamitous era, while shining a harsh light on a corrupt, morally-compromised, pre-Reformation Church complicit with Philip in applying the dreaded tortures of the Inquisition to destroy the Templars. She wisely balances the horrors of the day with a sweet love story. Young Felice de Preuthune falls slowly but inexorably for the outlaw Sir Percy, and vice-versa. Standing in the way is Umberto di Sante, an ambitious, unscrupulous, young cleric, determined to enjoy Felice as his concubine. The Pope has one; why shouldn’t he?
If the Middle Ages are your dish, don’t miss this delicious literary feast."
"I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. It is among the best historical fiction I have ever read. The setting is detailed, the daily lives of the characters come alive, and the romance is delightful. I can't recommend this book highly enough." Kara Wolf, simegen.com
Schrader is a master at describing memorable scenes whether it is the torture of her hapless protagonist, or daily life in the early 14th century for those great and poor.... The result is a novel that stays in mind long afterwards and surely cannot fail to disturb, enchant and absorb readers." Rachel Hyde, Myshelf.com