Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Secrets of the body

Secreta Corporis, a novel by John Evan Garvey, was published for the Kindle on 22 February 2013.

Two Templar knights are ousted from the Order for sexual perversion but are then targeted because of their knowledge of an ancient artifact the Templars will use to control the papacy.

The story
A.D. 1193. To avoid an arranged marriage, Rolant joins the Templars and is quickly transferred from France to Jaffa, the coastal city in the Holy Land that is the main port of entry for medieval pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. At the citadel in Jaffa, Rolant, who is nineteen and only recently knighted, is paired with Audric, a more experienced knight, who cautiously introduces him to a secret brotherhood of Templars who commit “the sin which shall not be named” in the dense groves of tamarisk trees scattered among the dunes along the coast. The secret brotherhood considers their activity in the groves to be comparable to grappling or swordplay, but for Audric and Rolant, their activity takes on a different tone because love becomes an integral part of it.

One of the main tasks Templars perform in the Holy Land is escorting pilgrims to Jerusalem and other holy sites. While Rolant is among the Templars escorting a group of pilgrims to Bethlehem, they encounter Saracens digging a well just at the moment human bones are displaced by the digging. The Saracens abandon the well and the pilgrims want to see if the bones are those of a saint. While the pilgrims pray over the bones, Rolant notices an old clay tablet in a dirt pile. The text inscribed on the surface looks ancient, like no language he has ever seen. He takes the artifact back to Jaffa with him as a memento but must relinquish it because Templars are allowed no individual possessions.

When in Jerusalem, Audric has avoided sleeping in the unsanitary lodging of the pilgrims by staying with a married Saracen friend, Tariq. Audric and Rolant’s activity in the groves and with a Saracen in Jerusalem do not go unnoticed by a secret society within the Templars, Lucerna Corporis, whose mission is to purge the Order of vice. At the citadel in Jaffa, Templars who frequent the groves begin receiving cryptic threats in the form of alchemical symbols drawn in blood on their bedsheets. A couple of Templars are killed, and when Audric and Rolant learn they are the next to be killed, they secretly leave the Order. They stay first with Tariq and then find beds at a boarding house, but their first night there they are attacked by Templars in plainclothes. They return to Tariq’s home, and Rolant realizes that the tablet he found—which, he has learned, is theologically damaging, and now would be called a smoking gun—can be used effectively by the Templars to threaten the papacy with disclosure only if no one knows about it other than a few Templar leaders. The Templars then target Tariq’s family along with Rolant and Audric.

The novel is available now at the Kindle Store and soon will be available for the Nook and iPad and in paperback.

More information about the novel is available on this page.

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