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The Holy Lance

(The English Templars #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The year is 1191. A daring counterattack against the Saracens’ last-ditch effort to relieve the besieged city of Acre has not only saved the Christian host from a fatal defeat; it has also brought the leader of that counterattack, English Templar Michael Fitz Alan, to the attention of King Richard the Lionheart.

In the days that follow, the king charges Fitz Alan with a li
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 24th 2015 by Knox Robinson Publishing (first published February 24th 2015)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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Steven McKay
As I’ve noted before, (in my A Day of Fire a novel of Pompeii by Stephanie Dray review) being an author has its perks. Sometimes I’m asked to review books before they’re available to buy and it’s really nice to read something before anyone else gets to see it. Andrew Latham, Professor of Political Science and reader of my own historical novels asked if I’d take a look at his debut The Holy Lance and, if I liked it, share my thoughts and maybe provide a strap-line for the cover.*

Now, it’s very flattering to be asked to critique someone’s wor
Helena Schrader
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-ages
The Templars as they really were!

Finally! A book that describes Templars as they really were: devout Catholic fighting men, rather than fantasy creatures or costumed, modern myths. Andrew Latham has with this comparatively short, action-packed book done the much-maligned Order of the Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem a worthy service by pulling them out of the realm of mystery and romance and putting back into a historical context and perspective.

The book does not attempt to pai
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've always loved history, particularly the Middle Ages, so when I've read the premise of Quest for the Holy Lance, I knew this book was perfect for me.
When we first meet the main character in this story, Michael Fitz Alan, the Templar knight, he's very busy fighting with Saracens. The victory that he achieved there brought him to the attention of King Richard. Fitz Alan is charged with the mission to recover the relict - Holy Lance.
The story is full of action, every battle scene is written rea
Andrew Latham
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Admittedly I'm biased, but this is a great read -- especially if you like your Templar tales accurate and brutal!
Blair Hodgkinson
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book came very highly recommended from several authors and some fellow readers with common interests and the recommendation was spot on.

A lot is packed into this novel. The book is set in the Holy Land during the Third Crusade and follows a Templar knight on his quest for a holy relic which might score either enough of God's favour or enough of a morale boost to turn the tide of the war in favour of the Christian host, but nothing's as simple as it appears. The small band of "English" Templ
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-ages, crusades
An exciting quest to bring the Holy Spear [which pierced the side of Jesus during the Crucifixion] to King Richard by a group of Templars led by an English Templar, Michael Fitz Alan, and their auxiliaries. Supposedly it will bring victory to whoever possesses it. Other men loyal to Conrad of Montferrat, who wishes to become the King of Jerusalem, simultaneously pursue the same objective. The Muslim, Saladin, and his brother, wish to drive the Faranji [foreigners? Franks?] from their kingdom. T ...more
Paul Bennett
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When going through my "to be read" list of books to choose which one to read next, I often allow myself to be swayed by the chatter on various social media outlets. The Holy Lance was one of those where the chatter almost compelled me to read it. One of the things that drew me in was the fact that the author is an acclaimed historian; something that I have found to enhance any historical-fiction they write. Besides, I like to support those who have taken up the profession of Historian as I am a ...more
Matthew Harffy
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Holy Lance, by Andrew Latham, is a strong debut novel. It depicts the violent, tumultuous and oftentimes confusing world of the Third Crusade. Latham is an academic who clearly knows and loves this period of history. His research drips from the page as readily as the blood spills from the gaping wounds of the enemies of Christ who are summarily slain by the Templar protagonist, Michael Fitz Alan, and his cohort of warrior brothers.

It is a time of brutal conflict and the savage clash between
VERDICT: Presented within a suspense story, this historical novel is an excellent presentation of the milieu and mentality of the spirit of the Crusades.

my full review is here:
S.J.A. Turney
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I recently had the opportunity to read an advance copy of Andrew Latham's 'The Holy Lance'. Initially I was hesitant, I have to admit. I am reasonably familiar with the Knights Templar in both popular myth and actual historical record, and am, frankly, a little sick of the endless connections made between the Templars and various supernatural or secret cult activities. I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, to read the book and discover that, although it revolves entirely around a group of Templ ...more
Susan Peek
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you've ever wished you could sit down and watch a truly Catholic movie about the Crusades, then reading this book might just be the next best thing! Andrew Latham's debut novel, “The Holy Lance,” while admittedly not shown on the big screen, definitely gives the reader the feel of a movie. Curled up on the sofa with it, I could almost taste the popcorn – it is truly that good.
The story is set in the Holy Land in the year 1191, right at the period when King Richard of England showed up on th
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Holy Lance is the debut novel by Andrew Latham. Set during the brutal and bloody years of the Third Crusade the story follows the trials and tribulations of Knights Templar, Michael Fitz Alan.
The story starts off as a pretty standard medieval fare as the author describes Saladin’s attempts to relieve the siege of Arce by King Richard’s forces. This is brought to life by a fantastic description of a Cavalry charge by the Knights Templars which really got the blood pumping!
The story then tak
I have to confess that I though there would be less religious stuff and more historical fiction stuff. I realize that Templars are connected to church but yeah I’m stupid.

King Richard sends Fitz Alan to get Spear of Longinus, it’s believed to have pierced Christ on the cross, because he believes that it will turn the war on his side. But after Saladin hears about this quest he sends men to retrieve it too, so there’s a race against time to get hold of the spear.

The most interesting thing in the
Roy Peters
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable book. The time period is of that of Richard the Lionhearted and Saladin during the Third Crusade. A mission the recover the Holy Lance is an interesting idea. My main criticism is that the dialogue between the characters sometimes feels decidedly modern.
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Source: Free copy from Knox Robinson Publishing in exchange for a review.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.
The year is 1191. A daring counterattack against the Saracens’ last-ditch effort to relieve the besieged city of Acre has not only saved the Christian host from a fatal defeat; it has also brought the leader of that counterattack, English Templar Michael Fitz Alan, to the attention of King Richard the Lionheart.
In the days that follow, the king charges Fitz Alan with a life-or-death mis
I've been wanting to read this book for years, but it went out of print. So glad there is now a new version available on Kindle Unlimited. More soon, perhaps?

So, the subject matter: a group of Templars looking for a Holy Relic in the late 1100s, at the time of the famous (or infamous) 3rd Crusade. Its a period and subject which has been done almost to death by fiction authors and film-makers. Yet this book, I am pleased to say, with neither a repetition of what had come before, nor cliched.

Marsha Lambert
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Holy Lance (The English Templars #1) by Andrew Latham is a fabulously realistic look at the Crusades and in particular the way of life for a templar knight fighting in the Holy Land.

The main character, Michael Fitz Alan, is well written with his good points shown but also his bad. We see his struggle through out the book to follow the Templar code and not fall back into the habits of his past. There is a wide range of secondary characters that are equally well written. I especially like Fitz
Omar El
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Holy Lance is a cogently conceived, gripping tale, combining both historical accuracy and creative fiction. It offers an invaluable window into the minds of the Templars, the "Saracens," and all other factions involved in the 12th century wars between Saladin and Christendom, displaying each party's motivations, fears, and desires.

To me, the most intriguing descriptions are those of the war formations and fighting styles of the Templars and their enemies. The attention to detail is truly wha
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From the review on my blog,
I have always been a fan of stories involving undercover operations. The Holy Lance fits that bill, but is so much more. Be prepared to be transported to the Holy Land in the 12th century. This is gripping historical fiction at its best. Great action, superb battle scenes, believable characters. Mr. Latham’s knowledge of historical events, people, the terrain, and life in the Middle Ages is excellent. If the reader doesn’t know
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book starts with a bang and the action just keeps coming. As a lover of Templar lore, I couldn't wait to read this book. I was not disappointed. This book portrays the Templars as they probably really existed, not as some Hollywood, made up group of people, but devout Catholic soldiers doing battle for God. The characters are amazing, especially Fitz Alan, a true Templar knight.

Professor Latham has created a well researched, well written novel that is fantastically gripping, He is not only
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved the book. When reading a historical fiction I like them to be as accurate as possible as it was in this book. I would have gave it 5 stars if it didn't take me a couple of months to read it. I won this book in goodreads Firstreads
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

What is going on just let me finish this damn thing this is ridiculous. Great book and like author. ThÆ
Joseph Scott Amis
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Having read many of Dr. Andrew Latham's articles on various aspects of the Crusades, with The Holy Lance I had little expectation of another Dan Brown style extravaganza; rather more of a solid work of historical fiction that might be somewhat to the textbook side. Happily, these preconceived ideas proved to be false. From the first page I found myself transported to the time of the Third Crusade to stand beside the Knights Templar in the midst of a furious battle with the armies of Saladin duri ...more
May 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
The first of the "English Templar" series. Features Templar Michael Fitz Allen who is commissioned by Richard Lionheart to retrieve the relic the Holy Lance. Takes place in Outremer in 1191 during the Third Crusade.
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
"He bowed his head and prayed.
And then he rose up from the earth.
And prepared to kill the enemies of Christ and His church."
Latham has nailed it. Templar/Crusades historical fiction done right.
Andrew White
rated it liked it
Mar 30, 2015
Jayne Niemi
rated it it was amazing
Jul 21, 2015
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May 03, 2015
Paul Davis
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Sep 07, 2016
Jacques Venter
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Knox Robinson author Andrew A. Latham is an award-winning professor of International Relations who regularly teaches courses in medieval political thought, international relations, and war. Trained as a Political Scientist, Latham has spent the last decade-and-a-half researching political violence in the Middle Ages. He has written scholarly articles on medieval war, the crusades, jihad, and the p ...more

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