Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A troubadour, a Templar, and a lady walk into a bar....

A tarot-inspired retelling of the events of the Cathar crusade? A tongue-in-cheek parody of historical intrigue novels? A prequel to The Da Vinci Code?
The Last Troubadour: song of Montsegur, by Derek Armstrong, is a hard book to categorize. Set in the 13th century, this book follows the sometimes funny adventures of a troubadour, a Knight of the Templar, and a beautiful woman as they work together to find an important religious relic before an evil agent of the Pope gets to it. Not having read The Da Vinci Code, I can't comment on any parallels or judge whether this is a true parody. The 13th century was not a real great time to be alive, and I don't ordinarily connect an Inquisition with big belly laughs, but Armstrong does his best to inject some wit and humor into his story. The Tarot-inspired characters will interest anyone familiar with the history of the Tarot (again, not my thing). I guess at the end of all this I'm not really sure if I'm recommending this book or not. Perhaps the most mysterious thing about this mystery is whether or not it's worth reading.

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