Knights of the Black and White (Templar Trilogy, #1)
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Knights of the Black and White (Templar Trilogy #1)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  2,482 ratings  ·  166 reviews
This trilogy tells the true tales of the Knights Templar: beginning with why they formed after the First Crusade and why they continued to grow in power and influence.
Published October 1st 2007 by Harper Torch (first published 2006)
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Here I am writing a review after only one hundred and seven pages. It's not my policy, but I have enough to say that I think this early review is valid.

The entire first section of Knights of the Black and White, called Beginnings by Jack Whyte, is the biggest, clunkiest most useless piece of exposition I have ever read. It is a classic example of an author's cerebral, pre-writing work spilling over into their novel without any thought for pacing, necessity or readability. Indeed, it took only th...more
Holy shit, I just saw that this is book one of a trilogy. I think there are laws about publishing that much crap. This might be the worst book I've read since--man, I don't even know. It's worse than even the Da Vinci Code, and I read that like 5 years ago. I'm going to try to finish it, but I can guarantee you that I'll be staying far away from Jack Whyte and his templars after I choke this one down.

I'm not done yet, but since I don't see how the author could possibly make me love the book in t...more
Tim "The Enchanter"
I was very disappointed with this book. If you have read The Skystone and the rest of the Camulod Chronicles you will know why that work by Jack Whyte makes my list of ten favorite books of all time. This offering pales in comparison. Honestly, I only made it about 150 pages in. The story was disjointed, the characters were one dimensional and the some of the characters did not seem to the fit the era. There was clearly meant to be some sort of "message fiction" which I generally find to be pret...more
Apr 22, 2009 Maya rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who is interested in the Knights Templars.
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Jack Whyte lives in Kelowna, BC

Begins in 1085

Templars existed for less than 200 years-legitimate standing army of the RC church. Invented first international banks, developed the largest navy in the world, financed all the kings and kingdoms of Christendom, amassed the largest real estate holdings in history. All the original templar knights were French and nobly born

Hugh de Payens (Hugues of Payens) founder of the Knights Templar.

Weren't called "Crusades" until hundreds of years later.
Had trouble getting excited about this book. I liked the philosophical discussion of Christianity and the Templar History. However the action and pace of the book was lacking.
The Templar Knights are a subject I find endlessly fascinating, so I eagerly seek out books about the subject whether the books are fiction or nonfiction. This fiction novel details the formation of the Knights, starting as a secret society in France, moving the story to Israel and the Middle East, and ending with the discovery of the "treasure" that would allow the Knights to become a powerful force for many decades. As these events unfold, the story follows Hugh de Payens, beginning with him a...more
I couldn't get past the first two chapters because I'd expected an adventure, a fair-minded, historically-based novel about the templars. Instead, I wound up with the usual gnostic lunacy; ie, the templars weren't really regular medieval Catholics, they were *actually* secret members of an ancient secret society with secret friends who were fighting a secret war against intolerance!
Kind of sick of the "let's all follow in Dan Brown's footsteps" sort of half-assed historical "research" as a basis...more
Returning for another series from the excellent Jack Whyte-who is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. I've been surprised to read that so many have not enjoyed this series. Granted it doesn't have the colour and excitement of the "Camulod" series, but that in itself is not enough to dismiss it out of hand. Whyte writes beautifully:long, descriptive sentences and paragraphs which are full of interest and fact, so we gain on various counts. For this alone I fail to see why he is being criti...more
Oh deary me. It had such promise. A trilogy (this being the first) telling the story of the founding, flourishing & sudden decimation of the Templar knights sounded like a rip-roaring tale. How very wrong. At 548 pages, this is easily twice as long as it needed to be. He gets badly sidetracked into long conversations and descriptions that don't advance the story any. The characters are a bit one dimensional and I'm fairly sure he gets confused as to who is where and related to whom at variou...more
Oct 05, 2010 Karen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Templars & that period of history in the Holy Land
Keeping in mind that I don't really hold any particular religious views, and have very little "formal" education on the subject (aside from a couple of non-western religion classes in college), I do know, from my reading of history, the part the Christian Church has played in the world in the last couple thousand years, as well as those belief systems that came before, and after. Having said that, I don't know much about the Templars, other than what I've gotten from movies & Cities Undergro...more
John Hanson
I'm not very far in, less than 100 pages, and I don't think I will invest much more time in it. It exhibits a sense of showing versus telling, but it's not blatantly bad - it didn't make me cringe or want to throw it in my woodstove. It's air smells of tell and underlying uncomfortableness.

I felt the voice was wrong. I picked it up and set it down many times over the last couple of days -- read it during breaks in the Oscars -- and several times I was thrown off by the thrid person as I expected...more
After reading the Dream of Eagles series, I was very eager to try another of Whyte's historical epic series. I haven't been as keen about this one as I was the other, but since I LOVED the other set, I had no-where to really go from there. I do like Whyte's manner of storytelling, I find I sail on through his chapters, swept up in the language and the tale he weaves. I didn't get so attached to the characters in this set, as they change more often than in the other. But, as a fan of Whyte, I can...more
Mike Cook
I liked the book a lot. It did seem to slog in a few places, but it's 749 pages, in paperback, for pete's sake. I didn't identify any part of it that should have been left out to pare it down. It's at least twice as long as most novels, and it's only one third of the story. It seems natural that such an epic undertaking would tax an author's control of flow; let alone the readers' mental rhythm. You knock out 350 pages and you're not even half way through. This is my first Jack Whyte book, so I...more
I really enjoyed this book. I had a very hard time putting it down. It was well written and the characters were described well and while I read it I felt like I was there watching. It made me really think about the different religions and how they are very much alike in the most basic ways. I would highly recommend this book. Especially if you enjoy period books. I can't wait to read the next two in the trilogy.

If you decide to read this book I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Aaron Althuizen
This was the first book by Jack Whyte that I picked up. It was a bit hard to get into, but once I got past a a hundred or so pages, I started to really enjoy it. Jack has a great way of story telling; highly detailed. Some readers might find it a bit dry though. After finishing this book, I immediately picked up the second of the trilogy.
Truth be told, I couldn't finish this book. I made it about half-way through before I gave up.

That said, Whyte certainly did his research for this book, and it shows. Unfortunately, that's pretty much all that shows, because the book would much rather tell you everything and just pour said research onto the page which got dull very quickly - especially when the characters seem to spend almost all their time sitting or standing around and talking. When there's finally some action it's glossed ove...more
I haven't read The DaVinci Code but I suspect that I enjoyed this more than I would Dan Brown's work. It was well-written, if very masculine. (Which is to be expected in a story about warrior monks, but it is a departure from my normal reading habits.) I'd like to read his Camlaud series and see how that works.
Lance Horne
Quality read - enjoyed the book cover to cover. It's hard to find a book that does not portray the Templars as an evil entity. Jack Whyte borrows a bit from Masonic ritual which I think is a it out there, but let's be realistic - it's fiction!
Fantastic! Admittedly, the first 107 pages are slow going as it sets up some of the religious, cultural and socio economic back story, but it soon begins to pick up pace, continuously becoming more and more captivating :)

I feel bad for the readers who gave up on the book. I have truly enjoyed it.

While this book is part of a trilogy, the reader could probably walk away after reading book 1 feeling satisfied. Perhaps that maybe isn't a good business move on the author's behalf, but I am grateful...more
This is the first of the Templar Trilogy which "documents" the rise (book 1), height of power (book 2), and fall (book 3) of the Knights Templar. The second book was recommended to me by a friend of mine and as an obsessive compulsive I had to read the first before reading the second book.

As happens with most historical fiction I read, I find that I am curious what is fact and what is fiction from what I just read. Unfortunately, I'm not generally well enough read to know for myself. I enjoyed t...more
The Knights Templar are just about a genre in themselves, with hundreds of books, historical, fictional, pseudo-historical conspiracies, you name it. This book is fiction, first of a trilogy, that recounts the founding of the Order, and its early years.

It is a matter of history that, in 1118 A.D., nine knights led by one Hugues de Payens took vows of poverty, obedience, and chastity before the Patriarch of Jerusalem and dedicated themselves to protecting pilgrims on the roads of the newly-establ...more
Started: November 13, 2007
Finished: November 30, 2007


I hadn't heard of Jack Whyte before encountering him at a writer's conference in October this year, but he seemed to be highly regarded, and a friend of mine admires him particularly, so I picked up this, the first book in his new trilogy, to see for myself what the buzz was about.

The verdict: I liked this one well enough to want to read the first book in his other (10-book) series, on the Arthurian legend. I know as little about King Arth...more
Becky Norman
Occasionally a book comes along where you may forget the author, or the title, or some other significant aspect of it, yet you remember a part of the plot - or even a scene - with such vivid clarity that it stays with you for years afterward. Knights of the Black and White was like this for me - I first read it when it was originally released and while I struggle to remember the titles in this Templar Trilogy, I always, always remember the characters, digging away below the Temple Mount as they...more
Should I review a book I couldn't finish? Perhaps not, but I'll offer some thoughts anyway.

Despite being highly interested in the subject matter of this novel, I just couldn't wade through the exposition and heavy reliance on telling the story in the past-tense. The author has attempted to span a significant portion of Hugh de Payens life in the hundred odd pages I read. Much of it feels like summation and very little occurs in the present tense. Which is a shame, because there IS a great story...more

This was an okay read. I felt at times that we weren't getting anywhere. I mean stuff was constantly happening, but it felt at times like the book was spinning its wheels. Then, I thought what we were getting was set up for the trilogy, & I was excited to see where things were going to go. But after picking up book 2, I learn it's set something like 80-90+ years later! So, it's all new characters. That made this book all the more disappointing for not continuing through the trilogy with...more
Rupert Matthews
Pretty good. He gets the atmosphere of the early crusades period very well and there is much accurate history in there as well as an exciting storyline and some good characters. But every now and then the book meanders off into Templar theology and lore and legend. OK if you are interested, I guess, but I just found it got in the way of the story
I know very little about the Templar knights and found this to be entertaining. I do agree with other reviews that there are parts that could have been shorted or even removed. For instance, we really didn't need as much detail on the private life of Princess Alice as we had recevied. What I liked about the book is nothing is impossible.
I'm not sure how to evaluate this book. I went into it with reasonably high expectations and in many ways it didn't live up to them. It didn't have as much action as I thought and it wasn't quite as sexy as it could have been. In some ways it was more thoughtful than I expected. However, the story flowed very nicely, it held my interest. The main characters weren't overly well-developed, but at the same time I did find them interesting. Probably the most interesting character was Alice, Princess...more
a quick summary:
-I loved the historical references in the story
-The characters were a a bit confusing but all together very believable
-Written really well in terms of this type of genre
-Got a bit long winded at certain points, but easy to pick back up on
-A very long read, hard to put down for a long period of time without losing part of the story

Altogether this book was a good read for the holidays (because I never did anything else) but now i'm back at school it became harder to follow. I reco...more
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Jack Whyte is an author and writer born and raised in Scotland, but has been living in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada since 1967.

Whyte's major work to date is the A Dream of Eagles series (as it is titled in Canada, but known as The Camulod Chronicles in the United States and elsewhere). This series of historical novels presents the tale of King Arthur set against the backdrop of Roman Britain....more
More about Jack Whyte...
The Skystone (Camulod Chronicles, #1) The Singing Sword (Camulod Chronicles, #2) The Eagles' Brood (Camulod Chronicles, #3) The Saxon Shore (Camulod Chronicles, #4) The Fort at River's Bend (Camulod Chronicles, #5)

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