Summary Book Review Secreta Corporis by John Garvey:
Download pdf or read book Secreta Corporis written by John Garvey and published by CreateSpace. This book was released on 2013-03-28 with total page 276 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Review of John Evan Garvey's "Secreta Corporis" by MICHAEL NAVA, author of the Henry Rios novels--which were praised as "an exceptional series" by the New York Times--and the historical novel, "The City of Palaces": "Secreta Corporis" is, in the tradition of "The Name of the Rose," a marvelously erudite novel that brings the past to life in all its complexity while engaging the reader's sympathy in the love story of Rolant and Audric, Knights Templar, as they travel in and around the Holy Land at the end of the 12th century. Garvey's book immerses the reader in Rolant and Audric's world while never losing sight of the deep bond between them that is the heart of the story. This is not the cartoon version of the past readers get in so many historical novels but a rich and detailed landscape in which the reader can happily lose him- or herself. I highly recommend it. ______ Synopsis: A.D. 1193. To avoid an arranged marriage, Rolant joins the Templars and is quickly transferred from France to Jaffa, the coastal city in the Holy Land that is the main port of entry for medieval pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. At the citadel in Jaffa, Rolant, who is nineteen and only recently knighted, is paired with Audric, a more experienced knight, who sensitively introduces him to a secret brotherhood of Templars who commit "the sin which shall not be named" in the dense groves of tamarisk trees scattered among the dunes along the coast. The brotherhood considers their activity in the groves to be comparable to grappling or swordplay, but for Audric and Rolant, their activity takes on a different tone because love becomes an intense part of it. One of the main tasks Templars perform in the Holy Land is escorting pilgrims to Jerusalem and other holy sites. While Rolant is among the Templars escorting a group of pilgrims to Bethlehem, they encounter Saracens digging a well just at the moment human bones are displaced by the digging. The Saracens abandon the well and the pilgrims want to see if the bones are those of a saint. While the pilgrims pray over the bones, Rolant notices an old clay tablet in a dirt pile. The text inscribed on the surface looks ancient, like no language he has ever seen. He takes the artifact back to Jaffa with him as a memento but must relinquish it because Templars are allowed no individual possessions. When in Jerusalem, Audric has avoided sleeping in the unsanitary lodging of the pilgrims by staying with a married Saracen friend, Tariq. Audric and Rolant's activity in the groves and with a Saracen in Jerusalem do not go unnoticed by a secret society within the Templars, Lucerna Corporis, whose mission is to purge the Templar Order of vice. At the citadel in Jaffa, Templars who frequent the groves begin receiving cryptic threats drawn in blood on their bedsheets. Two Templars are killed, and when Audric and Rolant learn they are the next to be killed, they secretly leave the Order. They stay first with Tariq and then find beds at a boarding house, but their first night there they are attacked by Templars in plainclothes. They return to Tariq's home, and Rolant realizes that the tablet he found, which is theologically damaging, can be effective in threatening the papacy with disclosure only if no one knows about it other than a few Templar leaders. The Templars then target Tariq's family along with Rolant and Audric.