This is the second book in The Youngest Templar series. If you are unfamiliar with the first one, read my review.
Wow! Michael P. Spradlin knows how to write a cliffhanger! I need to write this quickly and start the next book. It’s sitting here beside me.
Tristin, Maryam and Robard survive book one’s shipwreck, of course, and wash up on the shore of France. There, they become entangled in a conflict involving a local religious sect, the Cathars, and the Catholic Church, which culminates in a standoff high in the Pyrenees Mountains. Tristin also becomes entangled with a mysterious, enchanting young lady who captures his heart. However, his mission remains. He must get the Holy Grail to England. But just as he looks to succeed, the trio is captured. The book ends with unsettling hints about Tristan’s heritage, an unholy alliance between Sir Hugh and the Queen Mother, and the stroke that will kill Maryam. AAHHHGG!
So, the adventure is exciting. How’s the content? Pretty innocent. There are some battle scenes, including killings, led by the teens, and Spradlin goes right up to the edge while still avoiding profanity, but I would not discourage my own kids from this read. It’s high-action and loaded with medieval historical context.
There are a few details that stretch reality. Tristin was raised by monks, then after being a knight’s squire only a year and a half, he emerges this incredible leader that even more experienced men follow. And Angel, the little yellow mutt, is endearing but almost smart enough to be human. Both a bit unbelievable. And, a point I’d discuss with my own kids, Christ and Mohammad are put on equal plane and gifted by the same God to lead their religions (Maryam is Islamic). That doesn’t add up. But overall, Trail of Fate gets the okay. I’d say it’s best for age 10+.
And now, on to book three…