Today at Bookbabblers, we hear from Tristan of St.Albans…
Hello gentle reader,
I bid you greetings. Though I am known to others as Tristan of St. Albans, I have no true name of my own. The monks who raised me found me as a babe on the steps of their Abbey on St. Tristan’s Day and that was the name given me. For years, I lived a quiet life in the Abbey, helping the brothers tend the fields and gardens. I know nothing of my parentage; none of the brothers saw who left me at the Abbey. I was wrapped in blue blanket with a note asking the brothers to keep me safe.
When I was about to turn fifteen, my life changed forever. For on a cool spring morning in April, 1191 a detachment of the Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ and King Solomon’s Temple rode through the Abbey gate. You may know them by their more familiar name: The Knights Templar.
Sir Thomas Leux befriended me that day. And he asked me to become his squire, to train with him, and accompany the Knights Templar to Outremer (what they call the Holy Land) to fight in the Crusades. I had no desire to take vows as a monk and I agreed to accept Sir Thomas’ offer. But joining up with the Knights also brought danger, for by accident I made an enemy of Sir Hugh Montfort, Sir Thomas’ commanding officer and a vicious and cruel man whom it seems would like nothing better than to see me dead.
When we reached Outremer I learned a great deal from Sir Thomas. How to fight, and think and plan. He taught me all he knew about being a warrior. I learned compassion and humility from him and he instructed me in the Templar Code. Yet all of Sir Thomas’ teachings were not enough for soon the city of Acre, which we held, was overrun by Saracens. As we prepared to make a last stand in the Crusaders Palace, Sir Thomas gave me a dangerous mission and ordered me to escape by tunnel from the city. I did not wish to leave him, but he gave me no choice.
Now I am making my way back to England, as he ordered. Along the way, I have befriended a young archer, Robard Hode, who is also returning to his home near Sherwood Forest. Maryam a young woman and member of Al Hashshashin was first our enemy, but is now our friend. And with Angel, the little yellow dog I found (or rather who found me it seems) we are traveling this dangerous road.
I quickly learned Sir Hugh is on my trail. He will stop at nothing to keep me from fulfilling my last duty to Sir Thomas. For what Sir Thomas gave me to carry to safety is the most sacred relic in all of Christendom: The Holy Grail. Sir Hugh would kill to posses it, but I must not let him defeat me. With the help of my friends and the grace of God, I will succeed. And there seems to be another reason Sir Hugh wants me dead. Does he and did Sir Thomas know something about my past? Who my parents might be? Will I discover who I am on this journey?
Sir Thomas considered carrying the Grail to safety to be my duty.
I consider it my curse.
Tristan of St. Albans.
Tristan is the main character in The Youngest Templar books. We’ll be bringing you our review of the first two books in the trilogy tomorrow. You can find out more about the author, Michael Spradlin, here.