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  Bookends: Dan Davidson

The Temple and the Stone

Reviewed: November 26, 2004
By: Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris
Publisher: Warner/Aspect
544 words, $8.99

For those who were wondering what ever happened to the mystical adventures of the Adept, Sir Adam Sinclair, and his group of mystical warriors, battling against the unseen forces of darkness in the modern world, the answer would appear to be that the authors have decided to pursue their interest in the legends of the Knights Templar and take the whole concept back into history.

One of the five books in the Adept series introduced the idea of Adam's past lives, so finding a Templar brother named Frere Arnault de Saint Clair is a pretty big clue as to what to expect in this book.

The plot deals with events in Scotland in the 14th century, during the time of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace, and their attempts to maintain independence from the aggressive English under Edward I.

Saint Clair and Torquil Lennox, a younger Templar, are sent to Scotland to find some balance between the warring states and to investigate the possibility of removing the Temple's most sacred relics to a hiding place there. The order, which allows a blend of Hebrew, Christian and Celtic rituals, is under assault by more conservative forces. Saint Clair is a member of an inner group called le Cercle, and Lennox becomes an initiate of the inner mysteries during this adventure.

The structure of the book echoes that of the Adept series, in which there is usually some new postulant being admitted to the Adam Sinclair's circle of empowered friends.

Those addicted to the portrayal of Scottish history in Mel Gibson's “Braveheart” will be in for a bit of a surprise here. It's only the bad guys who wear way paint. If you want to check that out, the authors have actually provided a bibliography of source material at the end of this adventure.

Saint Clair and Lennox set out to re-empower the Stone of Scone, the seat of the ancient Scottish kings, feeling that the loss of its mystic efficacy has something to do with the decline in the land's fortunes, and also hoping that it will become the foundation stone of a new Temple in Scotland.

The book is occasionally a bit chatty, but when these writers kick the action and the tension into high gear it's easy to forget that the book is a slow starter. About half way through it really caught me, and then I read it steadily until the end.

There is a sequel (The Temple and the Crown) which I haven't had a chance to crack open yet, but I will.

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