It is the year 1307 and the ancient Order of the Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon is in grave danger. The King of France and Pope Clement V are plotting its destruction and scheming to appropriate the Order's most sacred and dangerous secret.
This is taken away by Etienne de Congost, a battle-weary but incorruptible man who flees through a world in ruin, dodging plots and papal spies in a life-and-death struggle. Will he keep the secret from the evil hands of king and pope?
The outcome of Etienne's desperate journey is discovered 700 years later by a writer who visits Lockenhaus Castle in Austria to research a book on the Templars. Together with an eccentric local woman, she begins to untangle the web of destiny that binds them both to the mystery of the Seal.
©2013 Adriana Koulias (P)2016 Adriana Koulias
It was so well written and narrated. The story was enlightening. I had no idea about the struggles of the Templars and the machinations of state and church against them.
I loved the old woman.
James Gillies made the beautiful prose shine. He captured my attention throughout and had me sitting on the edge of my seat with suspense.
This was a serious book, but there were lighthearted moments with the character Iterius - crafty but stupid as he was. I was moved to tears in the chapters - Castle on the Mountain and Round Room.
I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy history and who would like to immerse themselves in a political thriller set in very tempestuous times. I think everyone should know about the plight of the Templars, then they would understand why our world is in such a state today because through Phillip le Bel the banks became the property of the greedy and they still are.
I loved this book and will listen to it again.
Yes...It is so well narrated and written. Adriana Koulias is a wordsmith of the highest calibre and James Gillies the perfect complement - a voice made for historic fiction! I have read this book as an ebook and Gillies brings it to life in a way that is really outstanding!
That's hard! There were two, if I must whittle it down: Etienne de Congost and Jacques de Molay. Quite the best characters in Fiction for me and I am an avid reader. But I have to say Iterius was just as I had imagined him in the book - Well done James Gillies!
I could listen to James Gillies all day. His voice is smooth, his production faultless and his characterisations are true to the mark. I couldn't stop listening. He brings a quality to the characters that makes them almost cinematic in quality. He is a wonderful actor.
When Jacques de Molay was being led to his judgement. I was thoroughly moved. A wonderful piece of writing and the narration was so human and compelling.
If you enjoy historic fiction then you will love this gritty and authentic audiobook. I liken it to the Vikings. Michael Hirst or John Logan, if you are reading this...you would do well to take this on and make it a series. It is so visual and what actor wouldn't want to play Jacques de Molay!
"Great Historical Fiction Story"
If you like stories involving the Knights Templar this is a really good, well written, engaging, interesting and entertaining book. The story pulls you in and keeps you there until the end.
Although this is the 2nd in the series, I have not listened to the first book, that fact did not take away anything from the story.
The story is a fictional retelling of the downfall of the Knights Templar. Incorporating historical facts and characters into a great story. Even though you know the story and how it ends, the author brings the story to life by adding some twists and backstories to some of the mysteries surrounding individuals of the Knights Templar.
An author meets an old woman outside of Lockenhaus Castle in Austria. The old woman is much more than she seems. Through a deck of Tarot cards the story unfolds.
James Gillies did a great job narrating. He brought the story to life. His voice fit the story perfectly. All the character voices were good. He was able to convey the emotions of the characters. Smooth even pace. Clearly spoken. If the rest of the series is going to be put into audio form, he needs to be the narrator.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom
"Nicely done story"
This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.
I enjoyed the story, the characters and the setting the story took place. I think that the setting and characters were well done for the time period. The narrators voice was calm and pleasing to the ear which always help.
"A great Templar history dramatized, with wisdom."
Although not as satisfying a story as the first installment of the series, this book also had to exposit much history. One is still left with many questions, such as those topics not addressed well in the book, such as the fact the Templars had become a state within a state, with a permanent standing army, and let's not forget they introduced Europe to the banking paradigm that plagues us still. It is easy to portray them as pious or as an uncomfortable sovereign force with little accountability. It is clear the Temple lives on, but in myriad forms. I was hoping for a better transition into the RC order, which to my mind us a superior incarnation of the values as established in this book. With present history suspect, what can we know if the distant past, but through our self revelation. But I credit the book with keeping to an esoteric thread. I only wished there were more pages spent in this philosophy and the conflicts and moral ambiguity of fighting Christians. What of the Teutonic knights? Did the gold story occur as described? I also think Phillip is given more antagonist status than the Roman church itself. In the end, I do not think I was given a thorough understanding of the Templar mythos, but rather a narrative if the last days told as a passion play.
"A Grand Story!"
Yes, I would. I loved the story a huge and epic struggle to save the remnants of a dying order. The characters were so beautifully crafted so poignant, so deep...some books don't work well as audiobooks but Adriana Koulias' prose is beautiful when spoken, particularly by James Gillies whom I think is just perfect. I do have to say I didn't want this book to end.
The fact that this author has brought history to life in such a way that it made me feel I was there, I could smell it, taste it, touch it. Very immersive. It was an experience.
I loved all of it, but the arrest of the Templars...that was very moving.
I laughed and cried. In fact I was moved for a long time after listening to this book. I just had to sit there and take it all in. What breath of scope! I love books about reincarnation but this one is the best yet.
This book is deep, wide and full of treasures. It isn't always pretty. Bad things happen to good men and these bad things are bad indeed, but it is important to know history....how else do we learn from it. Listen to this if you love good writing and a story to match, if you love impeccable narration. Take it slow. Live it. You will be well rewarded!
"A Great Work of Historical Fiction"
I think both are important. There is a lot in The Seal and the ebook is perfect for going over things again.
Etienne de Congest and Jacques de Molay. I also thought Phillip the Fair was remarkable
He is a consummate narrator. His characterisations are superb and they are perfect for this novel given its beautiful language.
I couldn't stop listening to it.
I Highly recommend this book both for a story which is so beautifully told and for an impeccable narration. I will listen to the first book now, though I believe there is no problem there as the books are not sequential.
"Listen to epilogue first. IF YOU UNDERSTOOD IT. Don't read book that the whole story."
First review. Close your eyes and listen to an unknown group read Shakespeare. Don't open eyes. It's that bad. Narrator doesn't tell you the story he often YELLS it at You., after awhile you realize Koulias is the master of adjectives. The more the blurrier! As above READ THE EPILOGUE FIRST IF YOU DONT UNDERSTAND THEN DONT READ THIS STORY.
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