‘The Seal’ is the 2nd novel in the Rosicrucian Quintet by Adriana Koulias and once again she has written a beautiful but complex novel. This novel is based around the demise of the Templars in the 14th century.
An author meets an old woman near Lockenhaus Castle in Austria. The old woman sees the author as the person to whom she must relate her 700 year old tale. Together they travel back to the early 1300s.
King Philip of France is desperate for money. He sees the Templar order as a source for gaining wealth and with Jerusalem now lost there appears to be no reason for the continued existence of the Templars. Pope Clement V is a weak and greedy man and is easily pulled into Philip’s plots to destroy the order. They charge members of the order with a number of heretical practices.
Little do they realise that the real power of the order is in the seal usually worn by the Grand Master of the order.
The Grand Master Jacques de Molay, realising what is about to happen to the Templars, organises for the Templar gold and archives to be sunk in the ocean and entrusts the seal to his seneschal Etiene de Congost to take to the ends of Europe to be hidden.
Jacques de Molay spends years in French prisons being tortured before he and the Templar order are finally destroyed. Templar Grand Commander Marcus is instructed to dispose of the gold and archives. Etiene and his young companion Jordain along with two mercenaries spend many dangerous years, hunted by the authorities, trying to reach their destination.
But when Etiene finally reaches the point where he must part with the seal, he faces his most difficult and dangerous challenge of all.
When I read about the Templars I always have difficulty determining what is real and what is fantasy. With a good dose of mysticism thrown in by Adriana Koulias, the line between fact and fantasy becomes even more blurred.
This novel was complex and at times difficult to read, but full of beauty and ugliness. Some of the characters were brilliantly brought to life – the pope was completely revolting (and totally corrupt), King Philip was a schemer to his own ends and the two mercenaries – Delgado and Gideon were just scary.
Once again I’ve enjoyed immersing myself in this novel and look forward to continuing the series with – ‘The Sixth Key’.
Book Published 2006