Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Templar Legacy (Cotton Malone, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Templar Legacy (Cotton Malone, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Templar Legacy

(Cotton Malone #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  43,678 ratings  ·  1,987 reviews
The ancient order of the Knights Templar possessed untold wealth and absolute power over kings and popes . . . until the Inquisition, when they were wiped from the face of the earth, their hidden riches lost. But now two forces vying for the treasure have learned that it is not at all what they thought it was–and its true nature could change the modern world.

Cotton Malone,
Paperback, 511 pages
Published February 21st 2006 by Ballantine Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  43,678 ratings  ·  1,987 reviews

Sort order
Jeffrey Keeten
May 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
The Knights Templars were founded in Jerusalem in 1118 to protect the pilgrims visiting Palestine at the end of the First Crusade of 1096. The full, original name was "The Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple which is in Jerusalem", but the for the sake of this review I will just refer to them as The Templars.


By papal decree only The Templars were allowed to wear the cross patee. The red cross is probably the most famous identifying symbol for the order.

The Templars because of their austere
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Jill, Karen, Bridget
Steve Berry is the thinking man's Dan Brown. I was immediately impressed after reading The Romanov Prophecy, and The Third Secret. The Templar Legacy does not disappoint. If you enjoyed The DaVinci Code you will appreciate this novel all the more.

Berry mixes a decent understanding of folkore and history in this fast paced quest for the real Templar Treasure." He even takes a decent pot shot at all the conspiratroialists and others who have made fortunes off a well-documented hoax.

The book's ide
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe not quite a 4 star read, it dragged a bit in places & was quite long, but Berry certainly did his historical homework & came up with a great conspiracy. If you're not familiar with some of it, as I wasn't (I looked up more online.) he had a great author's note at the end that covered the main points.

While about religious people, orders, & conspiracies, Berry took a great secular look at it all, but wasn't insensitive to religious folks. He didn't berate the Gospels for their in
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
So fascinated by the amount of research that went into this. Really cool book, and I'm excited to follow Cotton on more adventures!
Jul 21, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
once again i'm longing for half stars (2 vs. 3). i'm settling on this just being ok/2 stars, though, because:

- the dialogue is not afraid to spell things out. as in, explaining the obvious, in a predictable, simplistic manner
- the actual storyline meanders a little too much, at least for my taste in historical thrillers. i'd like these books to be, i don't know, thrilling.
- there were a couple of spelling/grammar errors. true, it could happen to anyone. true, it's an enormous pet peeve of mine i
Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 11, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I suppose this is what might be called a "thriller" however I have hesitated to put it on that shelf. I hesitate because there are very, very few thrills in the book.

I've hit a string of mediocre books lately. These are all books I've been looking forward to but once I got into them they were at best, "yawn-worthy". This one is that way.

We start out on what has become well trodden ground since The Da Vinci Code. Again we're off on an adventure to track down the "real history" of things, in this
Feb 29, 2008 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this tale; I have just recently 'discovered' Berry (I read "The Third Secret" in August), but the mister has been enjoying him for some time now..

In a sort of Cliff Janeway–meets–The DaVinci Code story (although, much better told, in my opinion), we follow “Cotton” Malone, one-time federal agent with an eidetic memory and now a Copenhagen-based bookseller, as he becomes unwittingly involved in a search for the Great Devise, an ancient Templar archive that supposedly disproves the Resur
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-library, series
What can I say I just really like these kinds of books with thriller/action-adventure based on history and historical landmarks. This is about an American, Cotton Malone (which I’m not too thrilled with that name, lol!), who is now a bookseller in Denmark after retiring as a US Operative. He’s trying to live the quiet life when he finds himself embroiled in a quest (with his former boss) that involves the Knights Templar and looking for “The Great Devise”.

Yes this type of storyline and pace is
Jesse A
Jun 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Dan Brown esque. Interesting thriller with the seemingly sole intent of challenging pre conceived historical beliefs. Long spots of historical info dumps, which I found interesting but could bore some. Entertaining at least.
The Templar Legacy
1 Star

This is my third attempt at reading this book and its time to call it quits.

The main character is interesting enough and the plot has potential, but it moves along at a snails pace with excessive descriptions of the scenery (villages, buildings, forests, gardens, etc.) and the innermost thoughts of each and every character most of whom I couldn't care less about.

Enough is enough!
Aug 01, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Piatto e noioso. I personaggi sono stereotipi mal delineati e la tensione è quasi del tutto inesistente, spesso diluita da una narrazione ripetitiva e prolissa.
John Yelverton
Aug 05, 2011 rated it did not like it
Total load of garbage from the beginning of the book until the end. This book was not even worth the paper it was written on.
Jay Pruitt
"Say it, preach it, shout it, but never, absolutely never, believe your own bullshit!"

Templar Legacy, the first book of the Cotton Malone series, had such potential.....

Our hero, Cotton, a special ops kind of guy, must come to the rescue of his former boss from the Justice Dept who seems to be in over her head. Before committing suicide, her husband had left notes on how to decipher an antique codex, the purpose of which is unclear. However, she discovers she's not the only one participating i
Sep 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
It has served us well, this myth of Christ. — POPE LEO X

The above appears on the back dust jacket of The Last Templar and as an epigraph for The Templar Legacy. Fascinating, isn't it? My initial reaction upon seeing it for the second time, having just brought home The Templar Legacy, was, oh no, it's the SAME BOOK! Really, though, aside from both dealing with lost Templar treasure and the possible non-divinity of Christ, they're quiet different novels. (I may have even enjoyed this one more than
Benjamin Thomas
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the first of the Cotton Malone series. The author, Steve Berry, has been described as "the thinking man's Dan Brown" and I can see why. I am certainly no biblical scholar but the book seemed to be well researched and real world mysteries are dealt with in a plausible way. I do wish, though, that readers who are offended by anything that challenges their religious views would just avoid those novels in the first place rather than read them and then trash the book's viewpoint.

I enjoyed lea
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, literature
This was a fun, adventure-filled thriller full of history about the Knights Templar, or as they called themselves, Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon. They were a Catholic military order founded around 1119 until around 1312.

"The Templars were closely tied to the Crusades; when the Holy Land was lost, support for the order faded. Rumours about the Templars' secret initiation ceremony created distrust, and King Philip IV of France—deeply in debt to the order—took advanta
This was an enjoyable read. I liked it, I thought it was well written, it kept me in suspense, there were twists and turns, and it was interesting. (Although if you don't like fictional books that question the Bible or faith then this book is NOT for you!) It's a very Dan Brown kind of book (that I think is a bit...only a bit...more realistic.) I wavered between 3 and 4 stars for this one and settled on three.

I settled on three because
-At times the books gets very preachy/too lecture like.
Carl Kleinebecker
Nov 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
So... I'm always looking for a new series to read and Steve Berry's Cotton Malone series fits the bill. In a formulaic Dan Brown-esque fashion we start off LONG ago in a land far away... laying the ground work for the "action" that will take place in the present(ish) day. While Cotten's backstory could have been built out a little more fully... hits are given that things will be either explained later in the story or... we are lead to believe this is a "story" for another time i.e., another book ...more
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-library
This is the first book of the Cotton Malone series, and thus far, the best one I have read. I'm sure my fascination with the history of Knights Templar was a weighing factor in my rating of the book. Nevertheless, Steve Berry has done a good job in mixing history with an interesting story line. The story was quick paced with full of action. The employment of diverse characters made it all the more interesting. I liked most of them, especially the Seneschal, Mark Nelly. But Cotton Malone was anot ...more
Alex is The Romance Fox
I'm not going into the the whole story line as the synopsis gives us a lot of information on that.

This is the 2nd time I have read this book...I decided to start the whole series again as I have now copies of his later books.

I enjoyed it a lot and what makes this series interesting for me is the hero, Cotton Malone - love his name and also the amount of research done for the story....though at times, I felt bombarded with so much all at once....but I am liking getting into this series again.
May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thought the book was good, held my attention, and kept me guessing. I thought it was well researched, but since there was no roving reporters, internet, video cameras or cell phones centuries ago we rely on documents written by whoever was paying to have them written, and naturally if King Phillip IV, the Pope, or the Templars wanted to document an event, they would have it recorded to put themselves in the best light. So, historically, I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle of what is ...more
Mike French
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Steve Berry novel and it will not be my last. Even though I not into the Knights Templar,I found the book enjoyable and entertaining from start to finish!
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Da Vinci Code fans looking to further fuel their arsenal of anti-Jesus "facts"
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben Chenoweth
Mar 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
I should have known: this is, after all, an attempt to muscle in on Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code territory. Lots of anti-New Testament material here! Oh, how I wish authors who want to write books in this "genre" would do wider research. Berry refers to Bishop Spong, for crying out loud! In my opinion, one book by N. T. Wright (Resurrection And The Son of God) would have been enough to alter the ending of Berry's book for the better. If you are looking for an escapist page-turner, then this book ma ...more
Katherine Coble
Jan 31, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I got this for free on Amazon Kindle.

It's worth what I paid for it. I couldn't make it past the first 80 pages, which were an obvious attempt to not only ride the coattails of The DaVinci Code but to also build a franchise around the main character. The fact that I came here to update my review and see that the goodreads title lists it as "Cotton Malone #1" pretty much seals the deal on that.

I grow very weary of these action franchises, and more than one speculative fiction author (James Rolli
Oct 21, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action, unfinished
The second straight addition to the unfinished (perhaps forever) shelf. My second "Templar" novel in the recent past. Sorry, Copenhagen is not your basic setting for international espionage. I know, I've been there and the people are just too nice and the city is not that cosmopolitan. After about 10 shootouts/suicides/people thrown out of windows in first 20 pages, I was rolling my eyes at the action. Just too out of place. bye bye.
Feb 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
A Dan Brown-type thriller, involving the Templar Knights and a sect of Christianity trying to exonerate their past condemnations. Cotton Malone, a retired spy, is drawn back into "the game" when his former boss unexpectedly appears in Copenhagen and becomes embroiled in what turns out to be a family affair.
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I always enjoy Berry's stories, but he tends to be a bit wordy and heavier on detail than is necessary in some parts of this book. However, it's a good read, and this author always adds fascinating little historical tidbits.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great story!
I will look forward to meeting Cotton again.
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Marla by: Librarian Marilyn
2.5 stars. Between slow story, exhaustive historical explanations, mother-son conflict, estranged husband's suicide and OFFENSIVE religious shocker, I was not a fan of this book, but I've heard good things about the series, so I'll try the next one before I'll make a final judgement.

* Retired CIA operative owning a book store
* Knights Templar
* Protectress, Cassiopeia Vitt
* Old Master's intricate plan
* In another review, someone said that the author provided an afterward identifying what is
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Great book 15 112 Jan 08, 2014 02:34PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: TheTemplar Legacy 1 5 Dec 17, 2012 05:33AM  
  • The Sanctuary
  • Knights of the Black and White (Templar Trilogy, #1)
  • The Sacred Vault (Nina Wilde & Eddie Chase, #6)
  • Sign of the Cross (Payne & Jones, #2)
  • Excavation
  • The Lost Tomb (Jack Howard, #3)
  • The Ark (Tyler Locke, #1)
  • The Rosetta Key (Ethan Gage, #2)
  • The Black Sun (Tom Kirk, #2)
  • The Alexander Cipher (Daniel Knox, #1)
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Lost Order , The 14th Colony , The Patriot Threat , The Lincoln Myth , The King's Deception, The Columbus Affair , The Jefferson Key , The Emperor's Tomb , The Paris Vendetta , The Charlemagne Pursuit , The Venetian Bet

Other books in the series

Cotton Malone (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Alexandria Link (Cotton Malone, #2)
  • The Venetian Betrayal (Cotton Malone, #3)
  • The Charlemagne Pursuit (Cotton Malone, #4)
  • The Paris Vendetta (Cotton Malone, #5)
  • The Emperor's Tomb (Cotton Malone, #6)
  • The Jefferson Key (Cotton Malone, #7)
  • The King's Deception (Cotton Malone, #8)
  • The Lincoln Myth (Cotton Malone, #9)
  • The Patriot Threat (Cotton Malone, #10)
  • The 14th Colony (Cotton Malone, #11)
“Say it, do it, preach it, shout it, but never, absolutely never, believe your own bullshit.” 20 likes
“A man can accomplish much when the woman he loves supports him, even if she believes that what he does is foolishness.” 2 likes
More quotes…