If time travel was a reality today, I would NOT choose to go back to the Middle Ages.
Life during the time of the Holy Crusades was hard, brief and cheap. But the adventures of the Knights Templar, the legends about them, their mysterious rites and modern conspiracy theories about them have kept them alive for almost a thousand years. Their influences on religion, business, politics and architecture can be seen all over Europe and the Middle East even today and some would say that they traveled as far America, searching for a place to build a New World Order or a place to bury their legendary treasures.
The Red Cross of Gold ~ Assassin Chronicles is not historical Templar Fiction about their escapades during the Crusades, nor is it an accounting of Templar history and persecution. It is, rather, a series of works set in modern times ranging from the year 2000 CE to 2100 CE. The Assassin Chronicles tells the story of one Mark Andrew Ramsay, Chevalier du Morte (Knight of Death), Assassin and Alchemist for the Order of the Red Cross of Gold. The Order is the only extant branch of the Poor Knights of Solomon’s Temple and consists of a shadow army working in the background of world politics and religion, working toward the day when Jesus Christ returns to the earth in triumph at the Battle of Armageddon.
Sir Ramsay is a grumpy Scottish Knight who has survived the Crusades and the Inquisition and every major war since then. He is content to remain secluded on his old estate in Scotland, working in his dark, dusty laboratory making gold to support the financial needs of the Order, but he has other duties and it is these other duties that lead him into disgrace and trouble and starts the Order on the path of destruction. As a ruling member of the Order, he has been endowed with two Divine Mysteries: The Key of Death and The Art of Alchemy.
As the Knight of Death, he is responsible for administering the Rite of Death to his fellow Council members whenever they are irreparably injured in battle or by some unfortunate accident. He must remove the Divine Mysteries belonging to his fallen brothers and then release their souls from their bodies and cut off their heads. It is not an enviable job, but his dark past and brooding personality seems suited to the task. His Brothers find his company a bit depressing, but he has many troubles with the ‘lassies’ who seem to find him quite irresistible even though he is not actually very romantic.
As Alchemist, he knows the Arts of Hermes and the secrets of the Philosopher’s Stone that turns base metals to gold. He makes herbal remedies for his staff and apprentice, practices a little old-fashioned medicine, holds several degrees from Universities such as Oxford and also works in metals
designing weapons for his Brothers. His lab is a
wonder of ancient equipment all jumbled and piled and crammed on shelves replete with layers of dust and spiderwebs.
As the series develops, more and more secrets come to light about the Templar Treasures, their secret rites of initiation and whether or not there is any truth to the conspiracy theories surrounding the Order. Many other mysteries come into play as the planes of existence open up allowing travel between the upper and lower worlds, the Abyss and the realms of Dante. The Assassin Chronicles ties many mythologies and legends together and explains many of the world’s wonders from the Knight of Death’s viewpoint.
Even though he claims that he likes things simple, he is one of the most complex characters imaginable with a glorious past, a tangled heritage and an unfathomable mind hidden behind his dark blue eyes. Mark Andrew is the fellow that everyone invites to the party and then hopes he doesn’t show up. He is the last person his Brothers want to see, but the one person they cannot do without. He is too stubborn to fear much of anything, too volatile to tolerate much else and too old to care one way or another. His sword never needs honing, his determination rarely ever wavers and his aim is deadly. He is the Knight of Death.
“I am he that liveth and was dead and behold, I am alive forever more in God, the Creator of the Universe. I hold the key of Death. I have seen the work of thy labors and have been witness to the devotion of thy trust, O Brother. By this act I commend thy soul to the Creator of the Universe and set thee free of this broken body. Until we shall meet again in Paradise, I bid thee farewell. Dominus vobiscum.”The Red Cross of Gold:. Assassin Chronicles(series) The series falls into the epic fantasy genre and details the adventures of the members of the Order of the Red Cross of Gold, poor Knights of Solomon’s Temple. The series starts off with a relatively non-mystical, non-fantasy story of an Assassin/Alchemist warrior monk, who just happens to be around 800 years old. He loves the quiet life, working on turning base metals to gold providing the financial wherewithal for the Order, but his Assassin missions take him out of his comfort zone and into trouble. When he runs afoul of a woman bent on extracting the key of immortality from him, he loses his memory just long enough to fall from grace and bring on the wrath of his own Brothers of the Order. The series is comprised of 30 novels all available at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com. Most are available in paperback from Amazon.com. The Red Cross of Gold I:. The Knight of Death
- 5 Stars: Linda Fox says “This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I took my kids swimming, and sat there for 3 hours engrossed and on the edge of my seat.”
- 5 Stars: MonnaMia says “After reading this first book in the series, I was enchanted. After the second in this series, I was addicted.”
- 5 Stars: Heidi says “Fantasy, romance, and an interesting interpretation of religions all make up this fascinating series about immortal Templar Knights, fairies, dragons, and love.
The Red Cross of Gold:. Books I & II Omnibus (The Knight of Death and The King of Terrors)
- 5 Stars: Xirene says “I discovered this series last summer and it just swept me up and has carried me happily along with it. Getting the first two books together like this is a wonderful introduction to the story. Brendan Carroll is a gifted storyteller and has crafted complex, very real characters whom I’ve come to think of as old friends after all the adventures I’ve shared with them.”
- 5 Stars: lj says “Great historical series. As soon as I finish one I have to start on the next. Always leaves you wanting more.
- 5 Stars: Johanna L. Smith says “Fell in love with the charactors and how the author takes you back in time to explain some of each charactor’s history. Love how the book keeps the Templars cloaked in mystery, a little bit of magic & religion, but not overpowering. Looking forward to reading the next in the series.”
- 5 Stars: Rebecca says “Wow! If you are looking at this, just go ahead and buy it. Seriously, I’ve just finished reading #25 and each one is a definite 5 star rating… I never give 5 stars! Now I find myself moping around, impatiently checking Amazon for the next instalment and desperately hoping they’ll keep coming indefinitely. Go ahead my friend, you wont regret it… each book perfectly showcases the authors diverse knowledge and beautiful command of the english language, creating a story that is (honestly) almost impossible to put down.”
The Red Cross of Gold II:. The King of Terrors
- 5 Stars: Tariskellog says “Just love how the author weaves other characters in and out of the story, and then expands on them later.”
The Red Cross of Gold XXX:. The Wayward GodKing
- 5 Stars: Rederick says ” I quickly read all the published books and then impatiently waited for the next one to be done. I am going to greatly miss the characters that I got to know and love over the 30 book series.”