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Heretic : The Templar Chronicles by Joseph Nassise
Review by Drew Bittner
Pocket Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 0743470958
Date: 27 September, 2005 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

The Knights Templar stand between mankind and a legion of supernatural horrors. With bullets and bravery, they ensure our survival against things that would enslave or destroy us... and their secret weapon is Cade Williams, the Heretic. He's the central character of Heretic: Book One of the Templar Chronicles by Stoker nominee Joseph Nassise.

Williams, a former special operations police officer, lost his wife and half his face confronting a demon-possessed serial killer. That same night, he encountered the being that would shape his existence from then forward: the Adversary. Now he has special abilities that give him an edge in battling evil, but the pain of losing his wife gives him the determination to win.

When an attack on a Templar stronghold leaves no survivors and few clues, Cade and his Echo Team are called into action to investigate. Cade adds a new team member, Sean Duncan, to help out, realizing that Duncan has an unnatural ability of his own--one that he will not use. For the moment, however, Cade concentrates on figuring out what the enemy wants and why they're attacking Templar bases... and why they're reanimating dead knights to do their fighting.

Additional clues aren't long in coming. The targets share a particular secret, one that threatens the foundations of Christendom itself. As Cade delves into the secrets of his own Order, he realizes that the true target of the necromancy-using enemy is the Spear of Longinus: the blade that pierced the side of Christ as he hung on the cross. The Spear has fantastic power. In the wrong hands, it would be enough to bring about a reign of darkest magic-- and Cade soon discovers that his old enemy, the Adversary, plays a role in this plot as well.

Making use of his own extraordinary powers may not be enough this time. But if he fails, the entire world will pay the price.

Joseph Nassise puts together a story that's strong on concept and offers an interesting lead character in Cade Williams. The plot moves along well, with few tangents, though subsequent books would do well in fleshing out the supporting cast and circumstances of the Knights Templar's fight against evil more fully. There's a lot in Nassise's world left to be filled in, and lots of potential in this setting that can be exploited.

Nassise is off to a good start with this novel. Fans of dark urban fantasy may particularly enjoy this new offering.

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