The Last Templar

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The Last Templar
The Last Templar.JPG
AuthorRaymond Khoury
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreSuspense, mystery novel
Publisheroriginally by Ziji Publishing paperback by Orion Books
Publication date
Published in English
Media typePrint (Paperback/Hardcover)
Pages524,½ pages

The Last Templar is a 2005 novel by Raymond Khoury, and is also his debut work. The novel was on the New York Times Bestseller list for 22 months.[1] As of 2012, it has sold over 5 million copies worldwide.[2] It was adapted into a television miniseries in 2009.

Back story[edit]

In A.D. 1291, following the fall of Acre, the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, to the Saracens, a small party of Knights Templar leave the city with a small chest. Their ship, the Falcon Temple, is damaged in a storm at sea and sinks. One of the knights is mortally wounded in the event; he dies on land after hiding a small leather pouch under a gravestone. He charges the remainder of the ship's company to deliver an encoded letter to the head of the Templars.

The last surviving knight reaches Paris in 1314, just in time to see the order's last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, being burned at the stake after refusing to reveal the location of the Templars' treasure. The last knight commits himself to maintaining the legend of the Templars' threat to the Catholic Church.


Martin of Carmaux[edit]

Martin is in the secondary plot of the story and is a Templar. After his mentor Aimard dies, he is to take a message to the Grand Master, but after many perils, he is captured in Tuscany and forced into slavery for years before returning to France.

Tess Chaykin[edit]

Tess is an archaeologist and was in the museum when it was attacked. She is a main part in discovering where the pouch is and after she befriends Reilly, they go together to Turkey to find the pouch.

Sean Reilly[edit]

Reilly is an FBI agent who is assigned the case of the museum attack. After capturing Gus and finding the other two people who attacked the museum dead, he befriends Tess. He is a Roman Catholic.

Gus Waldron, Branko Petrovic and Mitch Adeson[edit]

These are the three men who, with Vance, attacked the museum and took the multi-geared rotor encoder. The three are killed by a man named Plunkett, who is a henchman of de Angelis and who hunts them down and kills each man in a different way.

William "Bill" Vance[edit]

Vance is the main antagonist and raids the museum and takes the encoding device. His motives are to reveal to the world that Christianity is based on a falsehood. The falsehood, to him, is that Jesus of Nazareth was divine and not just a spiritual teacher. He believes that revealing this will be the end of the religion. He wants to do this because a priest advised him and his wife against aborting a high-risk pregnancy. This resulted in the deaths of Vance's wife and unborn daughter. Vance dies after he falls from a ledge reaching for the Gospel.

Monsignor de Angelis[edit]

De Angelis is a monsignor working for the Vatican. He is behind the killing of the three raiders and sinks the boat that Tess was on to prevent the recovery of the figurehead containing the Templars' chest. He also received training and orders from the CIA.


Graphic novel series[edit]

Between 2009 and 2013, the French publisher Dargaud released a four-part graphic novel adaptation of The Last Templar.[3]

The series was later expanded with a further two volumes adapting the sequel The Templar Salvation.

Volume Based upon Title Artist Publication date ISBN
1 The Last Templar L'encodeur Miguel Lalor 13 March 2009 ISBN 978-2-205-06060-7
2 Le chevalier de la crypte Miguel Lalor 26 February 2010 ISBN 978-2-205-06305-9
3 L'église engloutie Miguel Lalor 20 May 2011 ISBN 978-2-205-06772-9
4 Le faucon du temple Miguel Lalor 18 January 2013 ISBN 978-2-205-06772-9
5 The Templar Salvation Oeuvre du démon Bruno Rocco 7 March 2014 ISBN 978-2-205-07008-8
6 Le Chevalier manchot Bruno Rocco 4 October 2016 ISBN 978-2-205-07293-8

An English language translation of the series is published in the UK by Cinebook.[4]

Volume Based upon Title Artist Publication date ISBN
1 The Last Templar The Encoder Miguel Lalor 2 June 2016 ISBN 978-1-849-18299-7
2 The Knight in the Crypt Miguel Lalor 4 August 2016 ISBN 978-1-849-18308-6
3 The Sunken Church Miguel Lalor 16 March 2017 ISBN 978-1-849-18321-5
4 The Falcon Temple Miguel Lalor 18 May 2017 ISBN 978-1-849-18322-2
5 The Templar Salvation The Devil's Handiwork Bruno Rocco 18 January 2018 ISBN 978-1-849-18327-7
6 The One-Armed Knight Bruno Rocco 26 April 2018 ISBN 978-1-849-18393-2

TV miniseries[edit]

NBC made a two-part television miniseries starring Mira Sorvino, Scott Foley, Victor Garber, and Omar Sharif. It aired over two successive nights: Sunday, January 25 and Monday, January 26, 2009. It re-aired Sunday, May 31 and Sunday, June 7, 2009. The TV miniseries The Last Templar was criticized in Turkey by the media for misrepresenting the geography of Turkey.[5]

The movie is much different than the book. In the movie, Tess pursues the Met's "Templars" on a police horse; in the book she was hiding with everyone else. Gus is depicted as a crook who was trying to solicit an antiquarian's help to sell the relic he stole at the Met; in the movie, this line is omitted. Vance was shooting Tess at the cemetery (with a paralyzing gun) and, literally, kidnapped her to his dungeon, while in the movie he is presented as Tess' friend. The role of Tess's daughter, Kim, is left to a minimum in the book, while in the movie, she is helping her mom to solve a clue on old Arab town's location. The name of the "Turkish" town recorded by Al-Idrisi is different, and in the book it is underwater (as a result of a nearby dam's work). Reilly is taken to Vatican where he was compelled to help in finding Tess and Vance; in the book they all and De Angelis are on the same boat. There are more differences than similarities between the book and TV miniseries.

Above comment is incorrect in the book the FBI agent Reilly is taken to the Vatican and compelled to assist in finding Tess and Vance, they all appear in the same boat later in the story.


A sequel to the novel, The Templar Salvation, was published in 2010.

Departure from reality[edit]

In the book, the Archangel Michael is conflated with St. Michael. It is claimed that he is the patron saint of seafarers and protects fishermen. In reality, the patron saint of fishermen is Andrew the Apostle and the patron saint of seafarers is Brendan the Navigator. Michael is called in the Greek Orthodox Church only the Archangel Michael, and not St. Michael in Orthodox terminology. Michael is the patron saint of soldiers, paramedics, paratroopers, police officers, and security officers.


External links[edit]

See also[edit]