Solomon’s Thieves is a new graphic novel that takes the reader back to medieval times and the story of the Knights Templar. The Templars came into being to protect pilgrims on their journey to the Holy Land. Over the years they became strong and wealthy in their own right, and kings began to see them as a threat. When the king of France accused them of corruption and heresy, he forced the Pope’s hand into disbanding the entire order. Many Templars were executed.
Solomon’s Thieves tells of those who escaped immediate capture and went into hiding. Many were determined to clear the Templar name, and sought to be reunited with their brethren who were also in hiding. Used to being treated as noble and heroic, these Templars chafed at being cast as outlaws.
There were also rumors of great treasure amassed by the Templars, a treasure that has never been found. The remaining Templars considered it their solemn duty to protect it from being discovered.
Solomon’s Thieves illustrates this moment in history through the story of Martin, who joined the Templars and went on crusade after his childhood love was forced to marry another. This is the first book of a planned trilogy, and includes an afterword from author Jordan Mechner about the history he conducted and more on the Templar story. Illustrations by LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland richly evoke the darkness of the times. I recommend Solomon’s Thieves for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 14 and older.