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Jordan Mechner (Author), LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland (Illustrators)

First Second Books (Publisher)

> Review by EMIL J. NOVAK SR.

Continuing with its impressive line of graphic novels, First Second Books gives us Templar, a hefty graphic novel partly based on the sad demise of the Knights Templar, along with fictional plot elements and additional characters which seem comfortable in this narrative. At 485 pages, the book’s creative team weaves an action-packed and suspenseful tale. At times, this tome seems to move along rather slowly, while at other times it flows with great sequential pace and story-telling. Still, I wonder if tighter editing could have made this even better with less than its nearly 500 pages. Illustrators LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland show great passion in the overall design of the story, especially in buildings and cityscapes. However, their facial expressions are less attractive to me. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of faces that are too cartoony, as they are in this book, as it leads to a difficult time in differentiating characters from the book’s cast (but that could just be me). The intrigue of the French tribunals that condemned Templar leaders face is gripping and still echoes sadness, and its horrific details are still powerful today, about 800 years later. If you love a good, illustrated history, this graphic novel is for you.

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