I received a free e-copy of God’s Forge from the author for my honest review.
About the Book:
A legion of elite, monastic fighting men, the Knights Templar were the most fearsome warriors of the Crusades, writing their legend in the gory sands of the Middle East with the blood of their enemies and their own. It was they who took the Holy Land, and they who held it. Answering only to the Pope, they bowed before no king or crown.
Returned from the Crusades and stationed in Paris, Brother William has grown disillusioned with the Order and plans to leave it. But as their Paris stronghold is seized by royal troops, William leads a small band of Templars in a desperate escape, fleeing with them into the night.
Alternately fighting and running, struggling to understand the world that has turned on them so viciously, they cross paths with a brutalized young prostitute. Open and proud about her sins, she ushers William and his comrades toward dark truths about the city festering around them, about its rulers and the church they’ve sworn to defend—all in a race to escape that will leave the streets of Paris bloody.
About the Author:
Patrick Dorsey has spent his career as a professional business writer helping people and businesses tell their stories. A natural storyteller his whole life, he began creating his own books in first grade by stapling together crayoned pages. A St. Louis native in all but birthplace, he holds a degree in English from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. It was in college he also began fencing, which he continues to pursue as an instructor and as president of the St. Louis Fencers Club. GOD’S FORGE is his first novel published without either a stapler or crayons.
I must admit to a certain fascination with this period in history. I can’t say I know that much about it but I do like reading about it. This novel covers a very short period in time, with some flashbacks to the fall of Acre in the last Crusade. It concerns the dissolution of the Knights Templar through the greed and manipulations of Philip IV of France and his personal Pope, Clement V.
On Friday 13, 1307 (the supposed reason the day is unlucky) Philip and his troops stormed the stronghold of the Knights Templar in Paris. They had given sanctuary to Philip previously and he saw their treasury and his need for money to continue his plans for France. He owed them money and Philip basically dealt with his bond holders (for lack of a better phrase) by expelling them or just killing them. So take the monastery he did. It’s here that Mr. Dorsey diverts from what history has left to us and he supposes what might have happened had a band of Templars escaped that fateful night.
It’s an interesting premise and the leader of the escaping band is a fascinating character by the name of William. His story is closely bound to another monk’s as they both served at Acre when the city fell. William and Odo have been together for years and have the most experience in the group. It also includes a young novitiate and a Templar courier with a package that is to be protected at all costs.
I enjoyed the base story. It was interesting to contemplate, exciting to follow and full of intrigue. But OH MY GOD the violence. Between the fighting scenes and it was shocking how many could be fit into a 258 page book and the stomach turning torture scenes thanks to the institution everyone loves to hate – the Inquisition – I think that more than half of the pages were spilling blood. Gah. I think the story could have been told and the impact made without all of the maiming, slicing, stabbing, arrows and you don’t want to know what else.
In fact it started to get repetitious and almost boring and violence of that level should never become such.
There is a good story under all of the murder, rape and mayhem and as I wrote I did enjoy it. I do wish that it had been a little more fleshed out and I wish it had not ended quite as abruptly as is it did. But I did like the characters – except for Inquisition dude and I wasn’t supposed to like him – and I did enjoy the “what if.”
You can purchase God’s Forge on Amazon.com