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

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  3,568 Ratings  ·  202 Reviews
From the author of Uther and The Eagle comes Knights of the Black and White—the first in a dramatic historical trilogy about the rise and fall of the Knights Templar

It is 1088. While many French nobles continue their occupation of a violently hostile England, one young knight, Hugh de Payens, is inducted into a powerful secret society in his father’s castle in Anjou. The O
Mass Market Paperback, 768 pages
Published July 19th 2007 by Penguin Canada (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
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
Nov 25, 2010 Patrick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 22, 2009 Maya rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Jan 24, 2012 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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.
May 22, 2007 Maria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 26, 2009 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 22, 2009 Elisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 07, 2012 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 05, 2010 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  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
Mar 17, 2013 John Hanson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
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
L.M. Mountford
I could only make it a few pages before giving up. I'd wanted to read this for years, but began losing interest almost immediatly. I'm giving this a true rating, i'll come back to this in a couple of years and maybe i'll get more into it :/
Sep 02, 2009 Tiffany rated it really liked it
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
Aug 17, 2014 Dave rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a very slow book. I had an extremely hard time finishing it. It was interesting. It contained enough insight into the Knights Templar that I felt that I had to finish it.

I didn't like the way that Whyte developed his characters. The whole book had a very incoherent feel to it. it was almost as if this was the author's very first attempt to write a novel. There was a lot of fact. There were some interesting conjectures on how things might have played out. We had a few characters who were
Mike Cook
May 24, 2014 Mike Cook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 23, 2011 Mindi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

Costea Constantin
În 1088, tânărul cavaler Hugues de Payens este inițiat în secretele Ordinului Renașterii din Sion, care consideră că Biserica Creștină este „o creație lipsită de temei... construită pe un mit”. Fondat de iudeii care au fugit din calea ocupanților romani, Ordinul crede că adevărul despre Iisus și despre începuturile creștinismului zace ascuns sub Templul din Ierusalim. Când papa Urban cheamă creștinătatea la cruciadă pentru a elibera Țara Sfântă din mâinile musulmanilor, Ordinul nu ratează ocazia ...more
Tracy Terry
Dec 04, 2014 Tracy Terry rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm presuming well researched, it certainly reads as if it is, but I'm afraid its one thing to be able to pour facts into a novel, to paint what is essentially a thin veneer of fiction over what is obviously a detailed knowledge, yet quite another to make it interesting as a fictionalised piece of writing.

Exposition heavy and yet, oddly enough, at the same time there were so many historical events dealt with in the blink of the eye ..... to give an example, the Siege of Antioch, an event that to
Jun 08, 2016 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Feb 15, 2014 Foxwine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
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
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
Feb 15, 2012 Lance Horne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Scott Gardner
Sep 13, 2015 Scott Gardner rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic
Having never read any of Whyte's books before , I found this very hard to get into at the start , the way the author skips away from what he is writing by making his character go back to how he got there , before you know it , you have read 10 pages and forgotten what the situation was to start with .

Once you got used to that , the plot was actually quite good , though it doesn't start till part 2 of the book , as an atheist , I found this story more believable than what you get in a church on a
Feb 02, 2014 Kyla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 28, 2015 Laurel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tome Addiction
Apr 23, 2016 Tome Addiction rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I am updating my review, and will have to agree with some of the 1 star reviews. This was my first Jack Whyte book and I am going to have a hard time trying another. Yes, there are two more books in this series but this one went on and on and on and on and on with nothing really to keep my interest. I kept hoping for it to pick up, the action scenes, although few, were excellent but the breadth of the story just didn't go anywhere. I really tried to complete this book but just couldn't in the en ...more
This is a fictional telling of the first crusade and the founding of the Knights Templar. Stepping back in time, and becoming a part of this brotherhood, seeing how and why it was founded and the compelling stories of characters I came to like and care about. I found myself flipping to Wikipedia frequently to keep all the historical characters and their relationships straight in my mind. Good intriguing read.

True I'm a bit of history buff (blame my dad for that) so this book helped me to live a
Aug 16, 2015 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1088 Hugh de Payens is brought into the Order as the selected son. Hugh must study the Order and the rites and then is called with his 2 best friends to take part in the first Crusade at the urging of the Pope. This is what the Order has been waiting for as they have a pressing need to go to Jelusalem and do a search on the Temple Mount for a treasure reported to have been left behind by others in their Order(from many, many years ago) and the Order is later known as the Templar Order.

The c
Apr 09, 2012 Alec rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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 about Jack Whyte...

Other Books in the Series

Templar Trilogy (3 books)
  • Standard of Honor (Templar Trilogy, #2)
  • Order in Chaos (Templar Trilogy, #3)

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