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The Avignon Legacy

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Lost Treasure of the ancient Catholic Church
When Pope Gregory XI abruptly decides to move the Papacy back to Rome in 1377, chaos and rebellion descends upon both Avignon and the Papal States in Italy. The Rome-based Pope’s foes and critics are everywhere and any shipment of the papal treasury from Avignon to the Vatican is at risk. An ingenious location is devised by Sir Jean Termonde, a heroic knight, to secure the treasure from discovery until it can be transferred to Rome.

The papal treasure never arrived at the Vatican, and the legend of the lost gold and jewels has grown over the centuries.

Rare book dealer Jim Pierce’s expertise is in tracking down and retrieving old volumes coveted by well-heeled clients. He has little interest in the French Middle Ages until two armed thugs enter his bookstore demanding an ancient 14th century volume on the Avignon Papacy that mentions the Church’s treasury. They are killed thanks to Pierce’s precautionary measures. When he receives an offer of $5 million from the legendary billionaire recluse John W. Baxter, to steal a 14thcentury volume from the Vatican Secret Archives, his interest is piqued leading him to wonder if Baxter wants the volume or if the contents are related to the treasure. So Pierce sets out to attempt two thefts: the volume from the Vatican, and the treasure from Avignon. That’s when he discovers the French and the British police are on Baxter’s heels who is, in turn, after him.

410 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 1, 2012

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About the author

Daniel C. Lorti

10 books3 followers

Daniel C. Lorti is the author of: The Avignon Legacy, a historical fiction account of a missing medieval treasure, Knights of Honor and Knights in Action, sequels to The Avignon Legacy, and The Missing Factor (Winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award) and its sequel The Business End both which embody his professional background in outstanding suspense thrillers, and The Mulligan, a fantasy. His book, The Writer’s Tool Box, is pending release. Lorti is a member of the Historical Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. An aerospace engineer with sensors, weapons, and intelligence background, he was Chief Radar Engineer for the Northrop Grumman Corporation and was on President Clinton’s twenty-member committee for Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland. A former international arms broker, he conducted business in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. During his career, with partners, sold a successful aerospace company to the Northrop Grumman Corporation. He resides in Newport Coast, California.

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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
Profile Image for Joe Broadmeadow.
Author 19 books24 followers
April 4, 2016
The Avignon Legacy by Daniel C. Lorti is a twist on the DaVinci Code. Starting with a well written exploration of battle-torn Europe of the 14th century, the book details the life of a Jean Tremonde. Born to a humble peasant family, Tremonde benefits from his father’s saving the life of a member of the French Court.
Befriending the noble’s son, Maurice Chatillon, Tremonde is trained as a knight. He fights alongside Maurice, proving himself both brave in combat and wise in tactics. His reputation attracts the attention of member of the Papal Authority and finds himself immersed in intrigue and conspiracy.
This historical fiction sets the stage for the second phase of the novel. James Pierce, a seller of fine, one of a kind, books takes over as the main character. Pierce finds himself similarly caught up in a conspiracy involving a tome written by Tremonde to the Pope in Rome.
The novel takes one on a twisting ride through the history of the church and the accumulated power and wealth of the Papal treasure. Pierce must find the letter, decipher the code, and survive those willing to kill to uncover the secrets.
Lorti does an excellent job of weaving the historical background necessary to understanding the influence and power of the 14th century church. He blends both facts and fictional representations of life in these times. Tremonde and the supporting characters come to life.
One can see the battles, feel the tension, almost hear the sounds of the dead and dying. All of this done with a goal of furthering the story and the reader’s interest in following the tale.
Pierce, portrayed as somewhat of a knight of a more modern time, comes across as both competent and skilled without seeming omniscient. He makes mistakes, his tactics are not perfect, yet he continues to pursue the goal despite the risks.
Anyone who enjoyed the Dan Brown series will find this book satisfying. The writing is crisp and succinct. The characters believable and well described. The action is suspenseful and creative. Overall this is a well-done novel.
If I were to offer any criticism, it would be that some of the situations experienced by the young Jean Tremonde seem to come too quickly. As if one moment he is a poor peasant’s son and the next a trained, experience nobleman.
Perhaps, there may have been a more effective way to portray the hardships of 14th century life without weighing the story down with mundane details. Nevertheless, despite this minor flaw, the book is well-written and an enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Jennifer Lara.
255 reviews2 followers
May 6, 2016
The Avignon Legacy by Daniel C. Lorti is an intriguing novel which takes the reader from 14th century France to the present day events surrounding Avignon, France.
The book opens with Part 1 in the Middle Ages. The Termonde family meets Sir Michael Chatillon, a night and noblemen of King Philip VI, who invites the family to his estate. Life progresses, improvements made and the Termonde family becomes an important addition to the estate. Jean Termonde becomes friends with Sir Michael’s son, Maurice, who is sponsored to become a knight. Jean proves to be a worthy knight and events bring him to the Petit Palais at Avignon. There he is entrusted with important and secret tasks by Cardinal Guy de Boulogne. These tasks will play in an important role in Part 2. James Pierce deals in rare books, the more challenging the book. The greater risk the greater reward and his methods of retrieving these books are always on the up and up. One day, he is approached by wealthy reclusive billionaire, John W. Baxter. Baxter will offer him a job that will take Pierce to Italy, into the Vatican and end up in Avignon. There Pierce discovers clues Jean Termonde and rumors of a hidden and long lost treasure.
The Avignon Legacy is an excellent story which builds a mystery and Ocean’s Eleven type cat and mouse with the controversial history of Avignon. I enjoyed seeing the parallels between the events of Part 1 and 2. I loved the suspense as Pierce carries out his plan to retrieve a book for his clients. I highly recommend the Avignon Legacy.
Profile Image for Kristen Chandler.
212 reviews40 followers
June 30, 2016
I've really been loving some history and historical fiction these past couple of months. The Avignon Legacy falls into this category, I believe, because it starts in the past and moves to the future, but its also centered around historical happenings.

It kind of had a DaVinci Code feel to it. Part 1 of the book begins in 14th century France and book two moves into present day France. Part 1 tells the story of a man named Jean Tremonde, a knight in 14th century France who later becomes a hand of the Cardinal and does incremental tasks for him. In Part 2, rare book dealer James Pierce takes an offer he can't refuse and goes on a treasure hunt per se, that leads him to Avignon, France and he begins to uncover secrets from the past. The whole book revolves around a man named Jean Tremonde, secrets about the Pope and papal wealth and the history of the city of Avignon, France. It is an adventurous thrill ride from beginning to end.

If you enjoy historical fiction, fact based fiction, and books and movies similar to The Davinci Code, you would enjoy this book. I definitely would like to read more by Lorti and more books similar to this one.
Profile Image for Jeanie Loiacono.
165 reviews1 follower
March 8, 2016
Lorti does a fine job of bringing great history to life. Little known facts of Papal wealth and those assigned to guard it, as well as the Pope himself, are somewhat taboo. The facts and characters are well-researched; the descriptions and details make you feel right there. Going from past to present day, he continues the adventure and then some. I highly recommend this and would like to read more of his works.
— CJ Loiacono
1,290 reviews3 followers
June 20, 2016
Poorly written and poorly edited. I got tired of all the obvious errors "policeman man" etc. Due to simplistic style should be in category of Young Adult Fiction. Not recommended.
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews

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