The best Knights Templar books

2 authors have picked their favorite books about the Knights Templar and why they recommend each book.

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Devil's Kiss

By Sarwat Chadda,

Book cover of Devil's Kiss

Sarwat is another brilliant British writer, whose debut novel Devil’s Kiss remains my favourite of his. Its teen heroine, Billi Sangreal is the last of the knight’s templar and lives her life kicking ass and killing monsters, Buffy style. There is a great level of complexity in this novel, with a bad guy that has really remained with me over the years. 

Who am I?

Growing up in the nineties I was a Buffy fan, although that is probably understating things. I have all the Buffy novels, which I read over when waiting for the next series to come out (this was in the days before Netflix!). For me, Buffy had the exact right mix of humour, horror, and deeper complexity, dealing with issues that really impacted me, but in a way that made them accessible. I loved the characters, I loved Buffy herself, I loved her strength and humanity. When I decided to write Raising Hell, I was influenced by Buffy, but there are differences – Ivy is no chosen one, she chose herself.

I wrote...

Raising Hell

By Bryony Pearce,

Book cover of Raising Hell

What is my book about?

Meet Ivy Elisabeth Mann. Once upon a time Ivy and her friends did a very stupid thing and now there’s a rift letting dark matter into the world. Dark matter that manifests as magic that actually works. Now every teenager with access to the Internet is raising hell. Literally. 

Ivy is doing her best to stem the tide, but there’s only so much one girl with a machete, a job working school security and a cat possessed by the soul of her own grandmother can do against the forces of evil...isn’t there?

The Last of the Templars

By William Watson,

Book cover of The Last of the Templars

I blame Dan Brown, but mention the Templars and you are usually met with a glazed look, as if you’re about to share your favourite conspiracy theory. William Watson’s book is a class, if not a universe, apart from Brown and co. It is an almost unbearably vivid re-creation of the world of the crusader kingdoms, and the corruption at the heart of Europe that first sustained and then destroyed their knightly protectors. In spare, unshowy prose, Watson demonstrates the darker side of the Middle Ages, in all its forbidding glory.

Who am I?

I've been fascinated by medieval history ever since I played hide and seek around Welsh castles as a boy. At university – a medieval invention, of course – I was able to sit at the feet of some of the finest historians of the Middle Ages, experts like Maurice Keen and Patrick Wormald. As a writer, I have tackled medieval subjects like Alfred the Great and Richard III, as well as the history of English rebellion. I have come to realise that the Middle Ages could be cruel and violent, just like our own time, but that they were also a time of extraordinary achievements that form the foundations of the world we live in.

I wrote...

Richard III: A Ruler and his Reputation

By David Horspool,

Book cover of Richard III: A Ruler and his Reputation

What is my book about?

The extraordinary rediscovery of Richard III’s body in a Leicester car park reignited interest in the last of the Plantagenets. David Horspool’s book steers a tricky course between those who would like to recast Richard as a hero and those who believe Shakespeare’s black legend. Horspool brings the Wars of the Roses to life, as well as tracing the afterlife of Britain’s most controversial monarch.

Holy Blood, Holy Grail

By Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln, Michael Baigent

Book cover of Holy Blood, Holy Grail

This book is a near-perfect example of how an ancient myth can spawn a modern urban myth or conspiracy theory. Best known today for having inspired Dan Brown’s blockbuster The da Vinci Code – so much so that the authors unsuccessfully sued Brown’s publisher for plagiarism – this book weaves together fragments of myth and mysticism, strange events from more recent history, and political intrigue to create a fascinating tale about the lost bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalen.

Who am I?

Graeme Davis has been fascinated by myth and folklore ever since he saw Ray Harryhausen’s creatures in Jason and the Argonauts as a child. While studying archaeology at Durham University, he became far too involved with a new game called Dungeons & Dragons and went on to a career in fantasy games. He has written game sourcebooks on various ancient cultures and their myths, and worked as a researcher and consultant on multiple video games with historical and mythological settings.

I wrote...

Thor: Viking God of Thunder

By Graeme Davis,

Book cover of Thor: Viking God of Thunder

What is my book about?

Thor is best known today as a superhero in Marvel comics and films. In many ways he is the ultimate Viking: bluff, hearty, strong, and direct. And so he was in the earliest surviving stories from Norse myth. The thunder god has survived Roman attempts to conflate him with Classical gods, the bowdlerization of early Christian writers, Nazi attempts to co-opt him and his symbols, and more – and he has done so remarkably unchanged.

The Templar Legacy

By Steve Berry,

Book cover of The Templar Legacy

I owe a lot to Steve Berry. He was local to the area I lived in when I started writing. I was in the same critique group, albeit at a different time, as Berry. I had met him several times and listened to his stories of how he got started writing. Around the time I finished my first manuscript, post-editing, Berry made The New York Times bestseller list. When he was doing a local book signing, I approached him, manuscript in hand, and asked if he'd be kind enough to read it and tell me what he thought of it. Certainly, I valued his opinion and expertise. Not only did he return a good review, he also blurbed my first novel—The Savannah Project. About the book: read it! Exciting, full of wonderful twists, controversial. 

Who am I?

I cut my teeth loving the intrigue of the spy world. Days of old TV shows like Man from U.N.C.L.E. (the original not the remake). All the James Bond movies—old and new. As a child, I had a Man from U.N.C.L.E. spy kit, equipped with a miniature camera and all. It seemed only fitting that when I started writing, I stayed with what I loved. The espionage thriller genre has evolved over time to a more sophisticated, action-packed storyline…which is right up my alley.

I wrote...

The Savannah Project

By Chuck Barrett,

Book cover of The Savannah Project

What is my book about?

The truth can be a dangerous thing. 

Jake Pendleton, aided by an unlikely partner – an air traffic controller named Gregg Kaplan – must untangle the webs of deceit in order to find a vicious killer. Nothing is as it seems. Nothing is sacred. Nobody is safe.

Pagan's Crusdade

By Catherine Jinks,

Book cover of Pagan's Crusdade

I fell in love with the irrepressible Pagan as soon as I read this book. It’s difficult to imagine that life with the Knights Templar at the time of the Crusades was highly amusing – but despite the wealth of knowledge and detail that informs this book, it is wry and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. Who wouldn’t love Pagan’s favorite curse: "Christ in a cream cheese sauce’?" 

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by history, and when I dreamed of being an author, imagined I’d write historical fiction. However, it took many writing detours to arrive there. (Nim’s Island, by the way, has no basis in historical fact!). When I first imagined the story that led to the Minoan Wings trilogy, I fell in love with researching this era, which is particularly intriguing because there are virtually no written records. Visiting the ruins of a four-thousand-year-old town on Crete under the guidance of an archaeologist who had not only excavated there but had become passionately involved with my imaginary characters, was an absolute highlight of my life. 

I wrote...

Cuckoo's Flight

By Wendy Orr,

Book cover of Cuckoo's Flight

What is my book about?

If Clio had stayed to load the kiln as she should have, she’d never have seen the ship. But she saw it, and the world changed. Now the oracle is demanding the greatest sacrifice: a young maiden to serve the goddess – and Clio’s grandmother creates a sacred statue to save Clio’s life.

But Clio is torn between the demands of guarding the statue and caring for her beloved horses. Disabled in an accident, she must try to put aside her own grief at no longer being able to ride – and in the process, save a friend’s life and stop a war. 

The Thalidomide Catastrophe

By Martin Johnson, Raymond G. Stokes, Tobias Arndt

Book cover of The Thalidomide Catastrophe

For many, Thalidomide is like King Arthur – a story lost in the mists of time. Except, like the Knights Templar or the Holy Grail, it still lives. People are still trying to find out who made it, still trying to find out how it causes the birth defects and other problems it causes, and still trying to claim it cures cancers and Covid – which it might.  

In a scenario that takes the hitman’s ‘nothing personal, it’s just business’ dilemma to unimaginable reaches, through the 1960s and 1970s senior Nazis plotted with Israeli scientists to defend this drug. Like Chou-en-Lai’s 1970 comment that it’s too soon to know what the French Revolution really meant, it’s too soon to know how the thalidomide story ends, but it’s worth bingeing on this book, nonetheless.

Who am I?

I’ve been researching treatment harms for 3 decades and founded in 2012, now an important site for people to report these harms. They’ve been reporting in their thousands often in personal accounts that feature health service gaslighting. During these years, our treatments have become a leading cause of mortality and morbidity, the time it takes to recognize harms has been getting longer, and our medication burdens heavier. We have a health crisis that parallels the climate crisis. Both Green parties and Greta Thunberg’s generation are turning a blind eye to the health chemicals central to this. We need to understand what is going wrong and turn it around.   

I wrote...

Shipwreck of the Singular: Healthcare's Castaways

By David Healy,

Book cover of Shipwreck of the Singular: Healthcare's Castaways

What is my book about?

Shipwreck is about a transformation of healthcare, which aimed to help us live the lives we want to live, into health services, which sell us disorders and pills to go with them and condition us to live the lives that the major pharmaceutical companies want us and our families to live. It outlines how companies have hidden clinical trial data, ghostwrite all articles on medicines in leading journals, and stack the deck so that if you are injured by a drug your chances of getting the harm recognized are getting ever more remote.  

If we wish to set things right, we need to build a new Caring Economy and it may be women rather than men that make this happen.

The Second Messiah

By Christopher Knight, Robert Lomas,

Book cover of The Second Messiah: Templars, the Turin Shroud and the Great Secret of Freemasonry

Combining some of the greatest conspiracy subjects ever put forth, this book offers a fresh take on the familiar, compelling secret history of what might have been, rivaling even Dan Brown in the process. How might the Templars have interacted with the Shroud? What might they have done with it? What are the secrets of Freemasonry that were known to so many of America’s Founding Fathers, and why is the world still interested? This is a book that made me think. And, more importantly, wonder! 

Who am I?

I am an author, theologian, musician, historian, and college professor who has written more than twenty books about ancient and alternative history, religion in modern culture, and long-distance, meditative bicycling. My study of the past convinced me that modern life has, for far too many of us, grown one-dimensional. It lacks the magic and mystery that imbued the ancients with the deep and rich mythology which we inherited from them, but then allowed to grow dormant within our sheltered lives. Remembering their vision and experience is a key to restoring our own sense of self-worth and essence. Maybe we all need to meet a “Wizard in the Wood!”

I wrote...

The Wizard in the Wood: A Tale of Magic, Mystery, and Meaning

By Jim Willis,

Book cover of The Wizard in the Wood: A Tale of Magic, Mystery, and Meaning

What is my book about?

I have come to suspect that life is magical. It’s silly to pretend that magic doesn’t exist because we think we are too sophisticated to acknowledge it. Michael knew that. He lived his life with the certainty that magic surrounded him, through his every word and action. As I moved through my adulthood, I forgot how to see magic. I am the poorer for it. But now that I have finally, and fortunately, discovered it again, I feel the need to tell you about how at least one man lived in the glow of magic, and taught a young boy how to do the same.

Let me tell you the strange story of the wizard in the wood. If you’re lucky, it might change your life.

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