Mixing history and fantasy: ANGEL HEART and the Knights Templar
by Marie Laval
I am not the first author to be fascinated by the history of the legendary Knights Templar and to find inspiration in their troubled, secretive and dramatic past which to this day has been the source of many tales and myths.
In ANGEL HEART my heroin Marie-Ange must recover a sacred relic hidden by the Knights Templar - the ‘Cross of Life’ – which is rumored to give eternal life. With the help of cuirassier captain Hugo Saintclair, she unravels an old family mystery linked to the legendary Count Saint Germain, a man reputed immortal, and returns the cross to its original hiding place in the crypt of the chateau of Arginy in Saône-et-Loire, to the North of Lyon, my home town.
The Knights Templar, also know as the Poor Fellow-soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, was a monastic order founded in 1118 to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land, defend the Saint-Sepulcher and fight in the Crusades. The Order grew rapidly in power and wealth and the Knights Templar, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades. They managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, acquired vast estates, became the French King’s bankers and built fortifications across Europe and the
The Templars' existence was tied closely to the Crusades and when the
Holy Land was lost, support for the Order faded, and rumours that they indulged in heresy and devil-worshiping grew rife. In 1307, as he found himself deeply indebted to the Order, Philipe IV of France – also known as Philipe le Bel – decided to have most of their members in arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, and then executed. Under pressure from the French King, Pope Clement V disbanded the Order in 1312. The abrupt disappearance of the Order gave rise to speculation and legends. France
One of them stems from the curse issued by the last Great Master, Jacques de Molay, against the Pope and the French King. As he was being burned at the stake, he predicted that the Pope would die within forty days, foretold the French King’s imminent death and cursed all his descendents for the next thirteen generations. The Pope died three weeks later, Philippe le Bel eight months later. Some claim that the execution of King Louis XVI in 1792 put an end to the Templar malediction on the royal family, since Louis was the 13th generation of the Capet line.
King Philipe’s actions against the Templars did not make him a wealthy man since only a fraction of the Templar treasure was ever recovered. Many believe that, forewarned of their imminent demise, the Templar Knights arranged for their treasure to be shipped away - to
Scotland or Cyprus - or transported to a secret location, like the chateau of Arginy in the Beaujolais or Gisors in . Normandy
The Knights Hospitaller – or Knights of Saint John – who were founded at around the same time as the Knights Templar to care for sick and injured pilgrims, still exist today. They are now a charitable organization based in
A mysterious Templar relic.
A web of intrigue and lies.
A woman about to lose her heart.
Marie-Ange, the young widow of an English officer, accepts an inheritance in
only to find that everything in Beauregard is not as it seems. Why is the sinister Malleval so obsessed with her family? What exactly is this mysterious Templar Cross he believes Marie-Ange can lead him to? And could her darling husband Christopher still be alive? France
Marie-Ange finds herself trapped in a dangerous web of lies, political intrigue and mystical possession, and the only person to whom she can turn for help is Captain Hugo Saintclair. Yet the enigmatic Hugo represents a danger of a different kind …
‘Angel Heart’ is a lavish mix of romance, adventure and a hint of the supernatural, largely set in
France against the turbulent background of Napoleon’s return from Elba and his ultimate defeat at . Waterloo
Marie LavalOriginally from Lyon in
ANGEL HEART is Marie Laval’s first novel. It is published by Muse it Up Publishing.
Her second historical romance THE LION’S EMBRACE is also published by MuseitUp Publishing.
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