The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail
Michael P. Spradlin
Putnam Juvenile (2008)
ISBN 9780399247637
Reviewed by Ben Weldon (age 10) for Reader Views (11/08)


“The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail” by Michael P. Spradlin is the story of Tristan, an orphan who lived all his life at St. Alban’s abbey in England during the Middle Ages.  One day a squad of Templar Knights visited the abbey.  When one of them asked Tristan if he would like to be his squire he accepted, not knowing his decision would change his life forever.

On a cold stormy night, a monk from St Alban’s abbey found a baby swaddled in a blanket.  That baby was Tristan.  The monks taught him to read and write and speak French.  Tristan cleaned the stables and helped in the garden and kitchen.  It was a pleasant existence but Tristan’s true wish was to learn about his mysterious past.  When the Templars came, Tristan was torn between staying behind where he felt he would be closer to uncovering the mystery of his heritage or leaving on an honorable and exciting Crusade.

This book was full of action and adventure.  In this book, Tristan became a squire to a Knight Templar who was leaving to fight in the Crusades.  Soon after Tristan and his mentor Sir Thomas reached Acre, Acre was besieged by the Saracen army.  When the city of Acre was taken by the Saracens, Tristan was entrusted with the Holy Grail and ordered to return it safely to England.  Along his journey he met friends who helped him escape from prison and saved him from cowardly robbers.  He also met many enemies who tried to kill him and steal the Grail.  Will he make it back to England safely?

I would recommend “The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail” by Michael P. Spradlin to people who like adventure and action and reading about the Crusades.  There was no bad language in this book that parents would object to. This book, the first in a trilogy, ended with a cliff-hanger and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book.

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