Cotton Malone, one-time top operative for the U.S. Justice Department, is enjoying his quiet new life as an antiquarian book dealer in Copenhagen when an unexpected call to action reawakens his hair-trigger instincts and plunges him back into the cloak-and-dagger world he thought he'd left behind.
It begins with a violent robbery attempt on Cotton's former supervisor, Stephanie Nelle, who's far from home on a mission that has nothing to do with national security. Armed with vital clues to a series of centuries-old puzzles scattered across Europe, she means to crack a mystery that has tantalized scholars and fortune-hunters through the ages by finding the legendary cache of wealth and forbidden knowledge thought to have been lost forever when the order of the Knights Templar was exterminated in the 14th century. But she's not alone. Competing for the historic prize, and desperate for the crucial information Stephanie possesses, is Raymond de Roquefort, a shadowy zealot with an army of assassins at his command.
Welcome or not, Cotton seeks to even the odds in the perilous race. But the more he learns about the ancient conspiracy surrounding the Knights Templar, the more he realizes that even more than lives are at stake. At the end of a lethal game of conquest, rife with intrigue, treachery, and craven lust for power, lies a shattering discovery that could rock the civilized world and, in the wrong hands, bring it to its knees.
©2006 Steve Berry; (P)2006 Books on Tape
The Templar Legacy is an interesting mix of history, speculation, religion, and thriller. The reader has to be ready to suspend some disbelief: the secret-agent-type heroes are incredibly slow at times (evidently they had never heard of a transponder) and the evil bad-guy is uncannily lucky and able to pull correct hunches out of the blue. The end of the book leans a little toward the preachy side, but I suppose it's impossible for an author to leave his personal opinions out of a book. If you can get by those things, you will enjoy a lively, "page/turning" story with many thought-provoking perspectives on history and present-day.
I read one of Steve Berry's books years ago and really liked it (The Romanov Prophecy), but had never taken the time to keep up with him. I saw n unreada paperback copy of this book on my shelf and happened to be looking for a new audiobook and hopefully a new author. To say that I found everything I was looking for would be an understatement of monumental proportions.
The hero of this book (and several others that follow) is Cotton Malone. He's a retired lawyer, secret agent-type who lives in Europe and tries to sell collectible books. I say tries because trouble tends to find Cotton and take him all over the globe into fantastic adventures. The series as a whole is wonderful. This book shines particularly brightly.
The characters find themselves on the trail of the Templar treasure. I'm thinking to myself: "of course they are looking for Templar history because ALL novelists try to find Templar treasure." I never give away plots in my reviews or add spoilers, but Berry succeeds in re-telling the Templars in a way that is exciting, historically accurate and that encourages the reader to move on with their own studies. Like, James Rollins and Brad Thor, Steve Berry devotes a segment at the end of his novels to what is and isn't true -- completely freaky in the case of this particular story! I love books where you read, you learn and you want to learn more but in a fiction context.
Since I listened to this novel, I have downloaded and listened to each and every book Steve Berry has ever written. I took a brief pause from a non-Cotton Malone book when James Rollins's new book came out and then dug right back in. I have ignored some of my favorite authors while I listen to Berry. I have recommended Berry to all of my friends. I have lent the paperback copy that was on my shelf to two other swim moms who have read, returned and recommended. I simply cannot express how MUCH I love one of my new favorite authors.
This was a great listen, If you enjoyed the DiVinci code for what it was then you will enjoy this story as well. Lots of history mixed with fiction and excitement around every corner.
I have three words of advice for the author: Plot, plot, plot!
Another religious conspiriacy thiller, this is sure to offend doctrinaire Christians. None of that offends me, but the dreadful writing does! I wasn't looking for a great book, just a fun conspiracy-theory thriller. The book's theme was heavy handed and unlike the Da Vinci Code, the plot was not related to it.
Here are problems: the book was really poorly edited, and thematic material is repeated over and over and over and over again. As such the book is about one third too long. Between the "living" and "historical" characters there are just too many.
The characters are not even two-dimensional: they bounce all over the place and react to situations and each other randomly, often in ways that do not further the story, as well as being EXTREMELY psychologically implausible.
The kind-of, sort-of protagonist has no reason for being in the story. He is not needed for the plot. Also this super spy of southern provenance, intellectual, ex-fighter pilot, scripture-quoting lawyer, antique book dealer and always good guy is just silly. Actually half of the major characters have no plausible motivation for being involved, so the author repeats their implausible reasons for being in the story over and over and over again.
Finally, there are just lots and lots and lots of plot holes and totally implausible situations and events (even in the fantasy world of this kind of novel) that continually jar one out of the book. I found myself kind of embarassed for the author.
I did finish it though, but the fact that I paid two credits for this is really irksome. The narration was adequate.
I have read several of Steve Berry's books and enjoyed them. This one is just ridiculous. I live in Spain and travel to Southern France on a regular basis. Extremely poor research despite the so called references cited in the epilogue. The situations and character development were infantile. Is there a character in modern fiction with an once of common sense? Don't waste a credit or your time. Sorry this one just didn't impress.
I love witty, fast-paced books that keep you turning the page.
Greatly enjoyed this book. It was fast paced and taught me all sorts of things I never knew about the bible and biblical times. Tho mixed in with fiction, just a fascinating, fun read! Steve Berry is now on my list of favorite authors.
I bought this title because I liked Berry's Third Secret. Nowhere near as good! Unbelievable plot turns (it would take a top secret agent that long to think about and discover a transponder?? come now, Steve!) Corny accents (French is French, not strange sounding English). Character and plot inconsistencies making me realize that Berry did NOT do his history homework before writing this (the Gnostics were the absolute opposites of the smug sexists he makes the Templars out to be, and yet they were supposedly inspired by the Gnostics??)
And the narration---does no one at Audible make sure pronounciations are correct? Every time I hear the narrator mispronounce Cassiopeia, I cringe---she's too important a character to have her (well known) name tortured so.
After my enjoyment of the Third Secret (which also stretched credulity, but in a kinder, gentler way..), this was a real disappointment.
Believable if you'll permit your imagination to entertain the ideas. Most enjoyed the characters and the entire plot.
"Can't wait for the new Dan Brown?"
I was looking to see when the next installment in the Robert Lagdon series was due and discovered Steve Berry and his Cotton Mallone series. Cotton is a Robert Langdon meets Jason Bourne type of character so you can expect a lot more action than you find in Dan Browns novels but with the same mix of puzzles based on a mix of fact and fiction to keep the consparacy theorists entertained. The book contains a great cast of supporting characters some of whom you can expect to meet again later in the series and they are excellently portrayed by Paul Michael who has also narrated on the Dan Brown novels. Really enjoyed this book and have gone straight on to book 2!
"Worth the time"
I bought this audiobook after searching for authors similar to Dan Brown, and i really have to say i enjoy his style of writing. It differs from Dan Brown in the way that his stories are more down to earth. This makes everything more easy to relate to. I definitely gonna buy his next book in the Cotton Malone series.
This is a great book. Steve Berry is a great author and I have found all his books excellent and this is no exception.
"Great story that makes you think and learn"
I have flirted with the Christian faith over the years and struggled with it. Listening to this well narrated book, with some fiction and some truths, has made me understand my struggle. Great book
"An excellent story well told"
A very well researched and executed novel, bringing new life to the Templar legacy. The story is written in such a way as to make all quite plausible, without any of the Hollywood nonsense.
I particularly enjoyed the way the life of Christ and the resurrection are portrayed. The writers note at the end was a good addition, as it specified the facts, the inspiration, and the artistic license.
Fantastic story. If you like Dan Brown then this is for you.
Paul Michael delivers another perfect performance too.
"decent story, disappointing performance"
change the narrator
I have always been disappointed by Paul Michael's narration - even since Dan Brown's books. I just don't understand why the production companies choose him to read those books.
All his characters always speak in the same phlegmatic tone - both on the death bed and in the heat of a fight. His attempts at French accent are awful. And the whole narrative is monotonous and unengaging .
Yes, I think that could be interesting
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