The Templar Legacy: A Novel

Paperback | November 27, 2007

bySteve Berry

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The ancient order of the Knights Templar possessed untold wealth and absolute power over kings and popes . . . until the Inquisition, when they were wiped from the face of the earth, their hidden riches lost. But now two forces vying for the treasure have learned that it is not at all what they thought it was–and its true nature could change the modern world.

Cotton Malone, one-time top operative for the U.S. Justice Department, is enjoying his quiet new life as an antiquarian book dealer in Copenhagen when an unexpected call to action reawakens his hair-trigger instincts–and plunges him back into the cloak-and-dagger world he thought he’d left behind.

It begins with a violent robbery attempt on Cotton’s former supervisor, Stephanie Nelle, who’s far from home on a mission that has nothing to do with national security. Armed with vital clues to a series of centuries-old puzzles scattered across Europe, she means to crack a mystery that has tantalized scholars and fortune-hunters through the ages by finding the legendary cache of wealth and forbidden knowledge thought to have been lost forever when the order of the Knights Templar was exterminated in the fourteenth century. But she’s not alone. Competing for the historic prize–and desperate for the crucial information Stephanie possesses–is Raymond de Roquefort, a shadowy zealot with an army of assassins at his command.

Welcome or not, Cotton seeks to even the odds in the perilous race. But the more he learns about the ancient conspiracy surrounding the Knights Templar, the more he realizes that even more than lives are at stake. At the end of a lethal game of conquest, rife with intrigue, treachery, and craven lust for power, lies a shattering discovery that could rock the civilized world–and, in the wrong hands, bring it to its knees.


From the Hardcover edition.

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From the Publisher

The ancient order of the Knights Templar possessed untold wealth and absolute power over kings and popes . . . until the Inquisition, when they were wiped from the face of the earth, their hidden riches lost. But now two forces vying for the treasure have learned that it is not at all what they thought it was–and its true nature could ...

From the Jacket

Praise for Steve BerryThe Amber Room“Sexy, illuminating . . . my kind of thriller.”–Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code“Magnificently engrossing, with wonderful characters and a plot that speeds, twists, and turns. Pure intrigue, pure fun.”–Clive Cussler, author of Sacred Stone The Romanov Prophecy“Perfect for thriller fans and hist...

Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Lincoln Myth, The King’s Deception, The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson Key, The Emperor’s Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The A...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:544 pages, 7.6 × 4.2 × 1.3 inPublished:November 27, 2007Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345504410

ISBN - 13:9780345504418

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from The templar legacy Really entertaining reading and the back ground history is really good
Date published: 2014-08-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The templar legacy Good read
Date published: 2013-03-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good page turner This book is tagged as being as good as "The DaVinci Code", but I won't go that far. It is good, and the plot hurtles along as a very good pace. The main character, Cotton Malone, is a special agent turned bookkeeper who finds himself embroiled in a hunt to discover the lost treasure of the Templars. What I thought really added to the action, was the occasional turncoat/backstabber who you didn't see coming. I say "occasional" because I hate it when a writer tries to twist every single minor character into a good guy / bad guy chimera, but Berry doesn't do that. The mysterious clues are sometimes far reaching and at other times too simple to believe nobody had yet to figure them out. Still, while it isn't "DaVinci", I really enjoyed myself as I tore through the pages to get to the satisfying ending.
Date published: 2013-02-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Expected more Cotton Malone used to be a US operative before quitting because he disliked getting shot at and opening a bookstore in Copenhagen. His old boss, Stephanie Nelle is visiting town and wants to get together with Malone. On his way to meet her, he notices someone stealing her bag and gives chase. The man kills himself before jumping off a tower which leaves Malone confused. He follows Stephanie to a book auction where more trouble occurs. Malone tells Stephanie he's now involved in her troubles and learns that she has taken on her deceased husband's quest to find the Knights Templar's hidden treasure. The problem is she's not the only one trying to find it. This quest takes them to France and puts them right in the crosshairs of the Templars that are still around. There are a lot of clues pointing in the direction of the treasure and the "Great Divise" but the code is tough to break. I've enjoyed Steve Berry books in the past and expected to enjoy this one but found there was one major problem with it. Every 40 pages or so, Berry would go on for 3-4 pages about the Bible which I thought broke the flow of the story. I was mostly reading this book on the train and whenever he did this, I started falling asleep. I much preferred Berry's The Amber Room to this. That aside, the mystery was still interesting.
Date published: 2012-09-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a great thriller Cotton Malone, a retired US undercover operative is now a bookseller in Denmark. He goes to a coffee shop expecting to enjoy a coffee with his ex-supervisor, Stephanie Nelle when he sees a purse snatcher take her purse. He pursues and retrieves the purse and follows the man up a tower, only to have the man jump off the tower and slit his throat on the way down. A bit drastic for a purse snatcher! This sets Cotton off on a mystery to find the secret and treasure of the Templars who were thought to be exterminated in the fourteenth century. Cryptograms, headstones with wrong data and ancient ruins all figure into Berry's mystery. Throw in some really bad guys in the form of rogue Templars who have no problem eliminating people in the way and you have a thriller that is hard to put down. I could see some people getting upset about the questions about Christianity that are posed but I found they made me think about the issues. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
Date published: 2012-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from excellent read For a while now I have been searching for an author that I enjoyed as much as Dan Brown, I need search no more. This book is an excellent novel that has plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader interested and guessing. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction, or just a good read.
Date published: 2010-07-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fast-paced Plot Book1 in the Cotton Malone series This novel can join the many growing stories surrounding the legendary Knights and the secrets they withhold and have guarded with their lives for so many years. It opens with Cotton Malone a former covert agent for the department of U.S. Justice visiting his former boss, Stephanie Nelle. He learns that she has been on a quest to find the Templar's “Great Devise”, intrigued, Cotton decides to join her. Action starts when Stephanie is accosted by a purse snatcher and a subsequent wild foot chase causes the perpetrator when cornered to commit suicide. Action increases even more when Stephanie realizes the notebook she received under mysterious circumstances is the real target of the thieves and possibly holds the key to the Templar’s fortune. Tensions are raised another notch when a modern day Templar and his followers make Cotton and Stephanie their prime targets, each have their own objectives. Danger lurks at everyone corner as their paths cross….The suspense prevails till the end.… M. Berry created a likable modern day sleuth in Malone but unfortunately Stephanie is a bit too naive to be credible considering the job she has, the characterization could have been better developed. I liked the plot, it is fast-paced, exciting and has its fair share of twists and turns. The narration is great and the addition of humor to the dialogue is a plus. This is a gripping tale that could be quite controversial for some. It gives a modern day twist to a clandestine society, The Templar’s, a group that controlled kings and popes and possessed a staggering amount of power and wealth. The writer comments on the historical accuracy in his notes at the end.
Date published: 2009-10-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful Wonderful thriller! The puzzle is difficult to understand, at least for me, but the book was great!
Date published: 2008-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent !!! Written in such a way that might even leave you saying........hey, could be eh ? Fast-paced and will pique your interest right up to the very end. And for once on the subject of the Templars - a satisfactory and believable ending. It takes place in modern times, with clues suggesting that the order still exists, as does its secrets and treasures. A connection with the clues from Rennes-le Chateau. On the basis of this book alone I know I'm going to have to read the other novels by this author.
Date published: 2008-10-20

Extra Content

Read from the Book

ONE Copenhagen, Denmark Thursday, June 22, The Present 2:50 pm Cotton Malone spotted the knife at the same time he saw Stephanie Nelle. He was sitting at a table outside the Café Nikolaj, comfortable in a white lattice chair. The sunny afternoon was pleasant and Højbro Plads, the popular Danish square that spanned out before him, bristled with people. The café was doing its usual brisk business—the mood feverish—and for the past half hour he’d been waiting for Stephanie. She was a petite woman, in her sixties, though she never confirmed her age and the Justice Department personnel records that Malone once saw contained only a winking n/a in the space reserved for date of birth. Her dark hair was streaked with waves of silver, and her brown eyes offered both the compassionate look of a liberal and the fiery glint of a prosecutor. Two presidents had tried to make her attorney general, but she’d turned both offers down. One attorney general had lobbied hard to fire her—especially after she was enlisted by the FBI to investigate him—but the White House nixed the idea since, among other things, Stephanie Nelle was scrupulously honest. In contrast, the man with the knife was short and stout, with narrow features and brush-cut hair. Something haunted loomed on his East European face—a forlornness that worried Malone more than the glistening blade—and he was dressed casually in denim pants and a blood-red jacket. Malone rose from his seat but kept his eyes trained on Stephanie. He thought of shouting a warning, but she was too far away and there was too much noise between them. His view of her was mo- mentarily blocked by one of the modernistic sculptures that dotted Højbro Plads—this one of an obscenely obese woman, lying naked on her belly, her obtrusive buttocks rounded like windswept mountains. When Stephanie appeared from the other side of the cast bronze, the man with the knife had moved closer and Malone watched as he severed a strap that draped her left shoulder, jerked a leather bag free, then shoved Stephanie to the flagstones. A woman screamed and commotion erupted at the sight of a purse snatcher brandishing a knife. Red Jacket rushed ahead, Stephanie’s bag in hand, and shouldered people out of his way. A few pushed back. The thief angled left, around another of the bronzed sculptures, and finally broke into a run. His route seemed aimed at Købmagergade, a pedestrian-only lane that twisted north, out of Højbro Plads, deeper into the city’s shopping district. Malone bounded from the table, determined to cut off the assailant before he could turn the corner, but a cluster of bicycles blocked his way. He circled the cycles and sprinted forward, partially orbiting a fountain before tackling his prey. They slammed into hard stone, Red Jacket taking most of the impact, and Malone immediately noticed that his opponent was muscular. Red Jacket, undaunted by the attack, rolled once, then brought a knee into Malone’s stomach. The breath left him in a rush and his guts churned. Red Jacket sprang to his feet and raced up Købmagergade. Malone stood, but instantly crouched over and sucked a couple of shallow breaths. Damn. He was out of practice. He caught hold of himself and resumed pursuit, his quarry now possessing a fifty-foot head start. Malone had not seen the knife during their struggle, but as he plowed up the street between shops he saw that the man still grasped the leather bag. His chest burned, but he was closing the gap. Red Jacket wrenched a flower cart away from a scraggly old man, one of many carts that lined both Højbro Plads and Købmagergade. Malone hated the vendors, who enjoyed blocking his bookshop, especially on Saturdays. Red Jacket flung the cart down the cobbles in Malone’s direction. He could not let the cart run free—too many people on the street, including children—so he darted right, grasped hold, and twisted it to a stop. He glanced back and saw Stephanie round the corner onto Købmagergade, along with a policeman. They were half a football field away, and he had no time to wait. Malone dashed ahead, wondering where the man was heading. Perhaps he’d left a vehicle, or a driver was waiting where Købmagergade emptied into another of Copenhagen’s busy squares, Hauser Plads. He hoped not. That place was a nightmare of congestion, beyond the web of people-only lanes that formed the shoppers’ mecca known as Strøget. His thighs ached from the unexpected workout, the muscles barely recalling his days with the Navy and the Justice Department. After a year of voluntary retirement, his exercise regimen would not impress his former employer. Ahead loomed the Round Tower, nestled firmly against the Trinity Church like a thermos bound to a lunch pail. The burly cylindrical structure rose nine stories. Denmark’s Christian IV had erected it in 1642, and the symbol of his reign—a gilded 4 embraced by a c— glistened on its somber brick edifice. Five streets intersected where the Round Tower stood, and Red Jacket could choose any one of them for his escape. Police cars appeared. One screeched to a stop on the south side of the Round Tower. Another came from farther down Købmagergade, blocking any escape to the north. Red Jacket was now contained in the plaza that encircled the Round Tower. His quarry hesitated, seeming to appraise the situation, then scampered right and disappeared inside the Round Tower. What was the fool doing? There was no way out besides the ground-floor portal. But maybe Red Jacket didn’t know that. Malone ran to the entrance. He knew the man in the ticket booth. The Norwegian spent many hours in Malone’s bookshop, English literature his passion. “Arne, where did that man go?” he asked in Danish, catching his wind. “Ran right by without paying.” “Anybody up there?” “An older couple went up a little while ago.” No elevator or stairs led to the top. Instead, a spiral causeway wound a path straight to the summit, originally installed so that bulky seventeenth-century astronomical instruments could be wheeled up. The story local tour guides liked to tell was of how Russia’s Peter the Great once rode up on horseback while his empress followed in a carriage. Malone could hear footfalls echoing from the flooring above. He shook his head at what he knew awaited him. “Tell the police we’re up there.” He started to run. Halfway up the spiraling incline he passed a door leading into the Large Hall. The glassed entrance was locked, the lights off. Ornamented double windows lined the tower’s outer walls, but each was iron-barred. He listened again and could still hear running from above. He continued ahead, his breathing growing thick and hampered. He slowed his pace when he passed a medieval planet plotter affixed high on the wall. He knew the exit onto the roof platform was just a few feet away, around the ramp’s final bend. He heard no more footsteps. He crept forward and stepped through the archway. An octago- nal observatory—not from Christian IV’s time, but a more recent incarnation—rose in the center, with a wide terrace encircling. To his left a decorative iron fence surrounded the observatory, its only entrance chained shut. On his right, intricate wrought-iron latticework lined the tower’s outer edge. Beyond the low railing loomed the city’s red-tiled rooftops and green spires. He rounded the platform and found an elderly man lying prone. Behind the body, Red Jacket stood with a knife to an older woman’s throat, his arm encasing her chest. She seemed to want to scream, but fear quelled her voice. “Keep still,” Malone said to her in Danish. He studied Red Jacket. The haunted look was still there in the dark, almost mournful eyes. Beads of sweat glistened in the bright sun. Everything signaled that Malone should not step any closer. Footfalls from below signaled that the police would arrive in a few moments. “How about you cool down?” he asked, trying English. He could see the man understood him, but the knife stayed in place. Red Jacket’s gaze kept darting away, off to the sky then back. He seemed unsure of himself and that concerned Malone even more. Desperate people always did desperate things. “Put the knife down. The police are coming. There’s no way out.” Red Jacket looked to the sky again, then refocused on Malone. Indecision stared back at him. What was this? A purse snatcher who flees to the top of a hundred-foot tower with nowhere to go? Footfalls from below grew louder. “The police are here.” Red Jacket backed closer to the iron railing but kept his grip tight on the elderly woman. Malone sensed the steeliness of an ultimatum forcing some choice, so he made clear again, “There’s no way out.” Red Jacket tightened his grip on the woman’s chest, then he staggered back, now firmly against the waist-high outer railing, nothing beyond him and his hostage but air. The eyes lost their panic and a sudden calm swept over the man. He shoved the old woman forward and Malone caught her before she lost her balance. Red Jacket made the sign of the cross and, with Stephanie’s bag in hand, pivoted out over the railing, screamed one word—“beauseant”—then slashed the knife across his throat as his body plunged to the street. The woman howled as the police emerged from the portal. Malone let her go and rushed to the rail. Red Jacket lay sprawled on the cobbles one hundred feet below. He turned and looked back to the sky, past the flagpole atop the observatory, the Danish Dannebrog—a white cross upon a red banner—limp in the still air. What had the man been looking at? And why did he jump? He gazed back down and saw Stephanie elbowing her way through the growing crowd. Her leather bag lay a few feet from the dead man and he watched as she yanked it from the cobbles, then dissolved back into the spectators. He followed her with his gaze as she plowed through the people and scuttled away, down one of the streets that led from the Round Tower, deeper into the busy Strøget, never looking back. He shook his head at her hasty retreat and muttered, “What the hell?”From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Steve BerryThe Amber Room“Sexy, illuminating . . . my kind of thriller.”–Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code“Magnificently engrossing, with wonderful characters and a plot that speeds, twists, and turns. Pure intrigue, pure fun.”–Clive Cussler, author of Sacred Stone The Romanov Prophecy“Perfect for thriller fans and history buffs alike. Fabulous plot twists.”–David Morrell, author of The Protector“Compelling . . . adventure-filled . . . a fast-moving, globe-hopping tale of long-lost treasure and shadowy bad guys.”–San Francisco ChronicleThe Third Secret“Controversial, shocking, explosive . . . rich in a wealth of Vatican insider knowledge and two thousand years of Virgin Mary visitations. The Third Secret will change our view of the relationship between religion and wisdom.”–Katherine Neville, author of The EightFrom the Hardcover edition.