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Keeper of the Grail (The Youngest Templar #1)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  830 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Read Michael Spradlin's posts on the Penguin Blog.

1191 A.D. The orphan Tristan has joined the Knights Templar as a squire, journeying with Richard the Lionheart on his crusade to free the Holy Land from the Saracens. As defeat looms near, Tristan is entrusted with the most sacred of Christian relics, the Holy Grail. He must return it safely to Britain, but he must also ke
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 18th 2008 by Putnam Juvenile (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,418)
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Lanie Sanders
ok! this book left me really conflicted. because, admittedly, there were a few little things that have me considering getting the next one just to see what happens. So! before i start ranting and screaming as much as is possible on a computer, i am going to list those few little things that i actually enjoyed about "Keeper of the Grail" book 1 of the youngest templar trilogy.

1. the writing style, action, and violence were well written for the intended age group. older kids and preteens. that was
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

KEEPER OF THE GRAIL is the beginning of a new series by Michael P. Spradlin. Readers might think that an adventure set in 1191 A.D. would be dry, historical reading, but in this case those readers would be totally wrong. Tristan's adventures are anything but dry. Though they may be historical at times, they are packed with one exciting event after another.

An orphan raised by a group of monks, Tristan never knew his parents or anyth
R. C.
I read this book before letting my child have a go, but based on my experience with it, I don't think she'll bother. There are blow-by-blow, chapter long descriptions of gory medieval battle; a protagonist like out of a medieval saga: all heroic impulse, little emotional depth; and a strictly Christian perspective on the ethical question of the Crusades. All those things can maybe be discussed as authentically medieval, so, given a good plot and good characters, I very well may have accepted the ...more

To be fair, “Robin” and “Marian” are hilarious.

Imagine Ron and Hermione or Hans Solo and Princess Leia squabbling their way across the 12th century. Definitely the most fun I’ve seen the classic folk tale couple portrayed in a long time. And with a twist to them that is truly new.

“Marian” is the second most original interpretation of the character I have ever seen. She has no explanation given to her implausible background and profession, but I’m almost willing to hold off criticizing that unt
Paige Y.
The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail
Michael P. Spradlin

Tristan has only known life in the monastery where he was found as an infant. Although he was raised by monks, he has never had the desire to become one, so when a group of Knights Templar stops there on their way to fight in the Third Crusade, he accepts the offer to become a squire to one of the leaders, Sir Thomas. Unfortunately he also makes an enemy of the other leader, Sir Hugh.

When they reach the Holy Land, Tristan soon discovers
Stan Crowe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
If you think that a book set in the 12th century England would be boring, think again. This book is an exciting story of the life of a monk boy Tristan. He was left on the steps of the monastery as an infant by a wealthy family, and raised by the monks. After a visit from Sir Thomas, an excellent Templar knight, and Sir Hugh, a coward. He finds himself squired to Sir Thomas. He is soon archenemies with Sir Hugh. They go to the city of Acre, and invaded by Saracens, they are trapped, and overrun. ...more
Yoleny Montiel-diaz
Well written...loved the details...I felt as if I were there watching all the action. I'm curious now...I need to know who his parents are!! It's an interesting story. I enjoy historical fiction books! I bought it for the kids, but ended up reading it myself.
Slow pace, main character - "the choosen one" ...
I enjoyed this quick easy historical fiction for youth. I think most of the concerns I have for it will hopefully be resolved in the rest of the series. I enjoy how our hero is left on the door step of an abbey as a baby with a note saying it is for his own safety. From the beginning you wonder who this boy really is. Sir Thomas and some other Knights of the Templar show up and suddenly Sir Thomas requires a new squire and Tristan is just at the right time of his life for it. From the beginning ...more
The book was okay since it talked about a Orphan who was abandoned in a monastery with the monks to take care of him. The book got interesting since he made a enemy and became a squire for this brave knight named Sir Thomas when the band of Templar Knights came by the monastery. As Tristan went throughout his adventures, he met some friendly people but somewhat have names that are like that movie or book called Robin Hood because throughout the book u will see a Blacksmith named Little John don' ...more
Sarah Maddaford
This gets a 3 instead of a 4 because it starts at the end and then goes back to the beginning. It isn't the end of the book either, but the end of the series as far as I could tell. It also lost points for including a female warrior on the side of the Saracens, who I don't believe used girls any more than the Christians did. I also think it was a bit dim of Tristan to think that no one would suspect that he carried something important when he was the only surviving Templar from Akra when Templar ...more
Left at a monastery under mysterious circumstances, Tristan is an honest lad with no knowledge of his true heritage. Sir Thomas, a Templar, hires him as a squire and takes him to the holy land in the midst of the crusades. Tristan's career takes an abrupt turn when Sir Thomas orders him to abandon his post during a siege in order to take the holiest relic entrusted to the Templars, the holy grail, to a pre-established, safe location in England.

There are hints that Tristan is of noble birth and
Ingrid Hansen
This is a very good book and it sure is a cliffhanger.

I enjoyed reading about the young Tristan, who was left at the doorstep of a monastery when he was just a baby with a note explaning that it was for his own safety.

15 years later a group of Templar Knights comes to the monastery to spend the night and young Tristan meets Sir Thomas Leux and becomes his squire suddenly on the way to the Holy Land called "Outremer".

He experiences hate from the horrible Sir Hugh, battles, escape from Saladins ar
Sarah BT
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

I'll admit, I first heard about this book several years ago when the author was at our local children's lit fest. I thought there was no way a book about the Knights Templar would work for young readers. Then Keeper of the Grail was nominated for the Truman award, which is our state book award for grades 6-8, so I knew I had to read it. And I was very surprised! Not only does a book about the Knights Templar actually work for this age group, it's a ton of fun!

The chapters are
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 29, 2010 Josh rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: History teachers who need to get their students interested in this time period.
The first thing I thought when I stumbled across this book was, "What a great book to include in a history lesson about the Crusades and the Templar Knights!" Even though this book is geared for the junior high set, I had to read it because this era holds such fascination for me and, as a teacher, I am always looking for novels that could be used to present the history in a much more enjoyable manner than just pure lectures. Plus, I had never seen a book on this topic geared for 7th and 8th grad ...more
Tessa Joy
Stories of the Crusades have reached fifteen-year-old Tristan and the monks at St. Alban's monastery. But King Richard is calling for reinforcements to defend the Christian settlements in Jerusalem. A group of Templar knights acting upon the king's request lodge at St. Alban's. One knight, Sir Thomas, meets Tristan and convinces him to be his squire. After a treacherous voyage, the Templar knights arrive in Jerusalem to witness a losing battle with the Saladin. During a siege, Sir Thomas reveals ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle Isenhoff
In Keeper of the Grail, Michigan native (yay!) Michael P. Spradlin offers the first installment of what promises to be a fabulous trilogy. I love epic stories, and the Middle Ages is one of my favorite periods of history. Throw in a little mystery, a hint of Robin Hood, a knight and a Crusade and you have the makings of a winner in my opinion.

Young Tristan grew up in a monastery with no idea of his background. When a regiment of Templar knights seeks lodging with the monks, he suddenly finds him
Apr 11, 2012 Ariel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
I picked this up because the youth service coordinator at our local library highly recommended it to me several times. I finally got around to the book on CD while waiting for the next book in the Hunger Games series to come in. I didn't have high expectations for it but came away pleasantly surprised. I have reached my saturation point in dystopia fiction so it was refreshing to find a well done historical fiction YA novel for my daughter to share.

The narrator of the book is Tristan, an orphan
I was hoping that although this was a young children's book that it would be more on the older side then younger. That wasn't really the case but this was still a great book!

I did like that nothing was assumed and so a lot of background was explained. I don't like historical fiction that doesn't explain anything to you and assumes that you remember you high school history lessons! Spradlin did a great job of explaining it in a story like setting. I don't remember a lot about the Crusades and did
Eric UserNameAlreadyTaken
I thought this book was very good. Even though it was informational and stuff, it was still very interesting. The plot was well laid out. But at times, the conversations were often boring and were very long. This book had a more of a story type adventure feeling to it. It was described through the perspective of a medieval boy who is a squire to the knights. I would recommend tis book to lots of people because it is informational and its actually not that bad.
Devin Loomis
In the book The Youngest templar Keeper of the Grail it is about a kid who gets sent to a abbey or as we call them a church as a baby. He grows up there then one day a group of templar knights stays there for the night. the boy is taking the templars horses to the stables when one of them gets a cut. The owner of the horse Who is Sir Hugh, Tries to hit the boy with hes metal glove. But then a hand stops him from doing it and it turned out to be his soon master. His name was Sir Max. then before ...more
Beaulah Pragg
Tristan, orphan and newbie Templar, sets off on an adventure to learn who he really is. A familiar enough premise, but pulled off with a strong voice and likable characters. I found the similar but different theme stretched a little far with 'Robard Hode' and 'Maryam' who turn up later in the story, but their genuinely funny characters made their names forgivable. Tristan was by far my favourite character. I appreciated his honesty, innate chivalry and the way that he didn't shy away from hard w ...more
Amy Emler
Oct 12, 2008 Amy Emler rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Middle school boys, anyone who wants a quick bit of Crusading action
Recommended to Amy by: My librarian
I've always been intrigued by the Templars. This is a great additon to the body of fiction that has sprung up around them in the last few years. Woven with just enough mystery and plenty of action to keep the story moving, Spradlin paints a vivid picture of abbey life, Templar knights and the colors and feelings of Acre and Tyre during the Crusades. And throws in the Holy Grail for good measure!

Many scholars, authors, moviemakers, and just plain enthusiasts have endowed the Grail with a variety
While the story is enjoyable, the narrator talks with this drawn out English accent that gets on my nerves. The way he says "gaaaaaaaarden" annoys me especially.

Now that I've finished the book, I can say that it was a disappointment. At first, when the blacksmith was known as "Little John" I thought, "huh, like Robin Hood" ok, haha good one. Then when He meets "Robard Hode", the story starts going downhill. I was interested enough in Tristan's quest, we don't need all these Robin Hood cameos. T
Keeper of the Grail was reasonably enjoyable and written with an easy, casual, and well done 1st person narrative.

Knights of the Templar, crusades, and flashing swords make a great backdrop for any story.
Our protagonist was morally reputable and loyal.


The plot itself was average; I believe it could have been much more interesting to follow if the story didn't seem to change radically from a "coming of age as a Templar" story to "keeping the Holy Grail out of the hands of evil and retu
A fun and fast-paced book Juvenile Fiction story. In my opinion, it may be a bit too short and simple -- I wanted it to go deeper and tell me more, but the story kept my attention and I enjoyed the characters.

Earlier this week someone asked me, "Is that another 'young boy who discovers he is special' book?" I had to pause and think about it. Why, yes it is. Just like so many popular series today: Harry Potter, Ranger's Apprentice, Septimus Heap, Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl...the list goes on an
What an awesome young adult book! There is a super medieval theme throughout the whole book. Tristan is a true example of what a virtuous knight should be! Since he had a fine example of what a true Templar Knight should be like in Sir Thomas Leux, Tristan takes his job as Sir Thomas' squire very seriously. Amidst fighting with the Saracens in Jerusalem, Thomas makes a friend in Roboard Hode (Robin Hood) and Maryam (Lady Marianne later on?), who is an Asassin in the Saracen army. Tristan is put ...more
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What was the phrase.... 3 10 Sep 30, 2012 02:07PM  
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Michael P. Spradlin is the author of more than a dozen books for children.
More about Michael P. Spradlin...

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