Of the three books in The Youngest Templar series, Orphan of Destiny was my favorite. At long last, Tristin reaches England. Pursued by Sir Hugh, he hides out for a time—in Sherwood Forest! Robard takes on his full role as Robin Hood (Robard Hode), the Thane of Sherwood, complete with a cast of thinly-veiled characters that have been building the entire series: Friar Tuck, the maiden Maryam, Will Scarlet and Little John. Tristin and Robard even have a standoff with the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. It’s a fun little aside built right into the series that actually makes sense. At the end of the book, it is suggested that the story of Robard and the Sheriff may not work out quite as simply as Robard thinks it will.
But of course Tristin can’t stay in Sherwood. After a brief stay, he continues on to Scotland in search of Father William, the priest to whom the grail must be delivered. And of course you can guess who waits for him. Sir Hugh. But the end isn’t completely predictable. Well, mostly it is, but it’s a good ending. A satisfying one that concludes an exciting, sword-swinging adventure series.
This book isn’t completely squeaky. After flirting with profanity for two books, this one contains a couple OMGs and a few colorful words that toe right up to the line without quite stepping over. The content, like the rest of the series, is completely clean, with the exception of some mild violence. And again it has moments here and there that make me roll my eyes, like when Tristin is handed the mantle of leadership by much more qualified men, or when something is hugely predictable, or when I can totally see through a writing gimmick. But overall I’d rate these as decent and engaging for high middle grade/low YA readers, especially for boys or lovers of Robin Hood lore or medieval history. I’d probably enforce a fifth grade+ limit in my own house.