Orphan of Destiny (The Youngest Templar)

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9780142419595: Orphan of Destiny (The Youngest Templar)

Tristan and his companions have finally reached England with the Holy Grail. But his job of protecting the Grail is not over yet. For when they return, they find that much has changed for the worse in their country. Tristan's abbey has been destroyed, and Sherwood Forest suffers under the terrible reign of the Sheriff of Nottingham. As Tristan and his friends journey through England to deliver their precious cargo to the Templars, they must band together to navigate obstacles and fight one final difficult battle - and in the process, Tristan will also learn the fate of his own life. A fate that many would kill to keep secret.

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About the Author:

Michael P. Spradlin is the author of more than a dozen books for children. He grew up in a small town in Michigan not far from the Indiana border. Surrounded by books in his formative years, he grew up loving to read and imagining himself the hero of numerous epic battles.When not writing, he enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with his family and worrying over the fact that he really should be writing instead of doing other stuff. He lives in Michigan with his wife Kelly, son Michael, daughter Rachel and two dogs Willow and Apollo.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Table of Contents

 

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Acknowledgements

 

CALAIS, FRANCE EARLY DECEMBER 1191

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

 

SOMEWHERE IN THE ENGLISH CHANNEL

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

 

THREE DAYS LATER

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

 

GODSTOW NUNNERY, OXFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND ONE WEEK LATER JANUARY 1192

EPILOGUE

G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS

A DIVISION OF PENGUIN YOUNG READERS GROUP.

Published by The Penguin Group.

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014, U.S.A.

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.).

Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England.

Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.).

Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd).

Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India.

Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd).

Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa.

Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England.

Copyright © 2010 by Michael P. Spradlin.

Map illustration © 2008 by Mike Reagan. All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 345 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014.

G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. The scanning, uploading and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content. Published simultaneously in Canada.

ISBN: 9781101198353

This book is for the girls,
Pilar Elizabeth Mackey and Jordan Jean Mackey.
They are gifts to us all.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

If you are fortunate enough to be a published writer, you quickly learn that creating a finished book is a collaborative effort involving dozens of individuals. So I offer up sincere thanks to my agent, Steven Chudney, for patiently listening to my flood of ideas. To my editor, Tim Travaglini, for taking a jumbled mass of words and finding the story in it (I knew it was around here somewhere). To the incredible sales and marketing teams at Penguin Young Readers Group. To my colleagues Brian Murray, Josh Marwell, Michael Brennan, Carla Parker, Elise Howard and Liate Stehlik for their unflagging support. To Stephen Dafoe and Christine Leddon for their evangelical efforts on my behalf. To Shelly and Terry Palczewski for always showing up, even though they’ve heard it all before. Thanks to the staff at the Homer Public Library for a great event every year. To my mom and sisters for more support than I deserve. To my kids, Mick, Jessica and Rachel, for always letting me tell the stories. And to my wife, Kelly, for all of this and everything else. I couldn’t love you more.

PROLOGUE

I am closer now, Sir Thomas.

Wherever you are, I believe you watch over me. And if such a thing is true, then you know how far I’ve come. Though I cannot claim it was all my doing. My friends Robard and Maryam have remained steadfast, and in their own way they have carried the Grail as well. I know you ordered me to tell not a soul, but I could no longer let them risk their lives without knowing why. And I found, in their friendship and fierce loyalty, a much lighter step along a very perilous path.

I am tired.

More tired than I have ever been. So weary my bones ache at the very thought of moving. When we stood in the Knights Hall, back in Acre, and you handed me this leather satchel, which never leaves my side, you gave me no indication of how far I would travel. Back to England, yes, but a much longer journey for my soul.

I have seen things, Sir Thomas.

Death and pain and love and joy. And more than once I have wanted to curse your name. To throw my arms to heaven and ask,

“Why me?” Who is this Tristan of St. Alban’s that made a Knight of the Temple believe he was ever capable of so grave a duty?

I still carry your sword, sire.

And, I am ashamed to say, I will one day stand before my maker and tell him I have wielded it in anger. With it, I have taken the lives of other men. Those who wished to kill me, no doubt, but the truth of it brings me no peace.

I will carry on, my liege.

Like the monks who raised me, I cannot bear the thought of disappointing you. Your face haunts my dreams. You trained me well, sire. But many times I worry you did not train me well enough.

I know the power of the Grail, Sir Thomas.

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