Now I am not vain enough to assume that my criticisms of Ms Kurtz' work will apply to others, but here for what it is worth is my view of why I did not enjoy the first two books in the series (The Temple and the Stone and The Temple and the Crown) and why I will not read any further books in the series (if indeed more have been or are to be written; of this I am unaware).
These books can be viewed in two ways: as historical fiction and as fantasy fiction.
fiction to be enjoyable (for me) has to be authentic. The introduction
of the fantasy elements of magic, conjuration of demons, mystical powers
of the biblical artefacts etc, renders this impossible in this work.
Although I am sure that the historical elements of the work have been
diligently researched and are probably accurate in every detail, this
authenticity cannot be attained in the presence of the fantasy elements.
Therefore, I did not enjoy the works in the sense of historical
For me, for fantasy fiction to be
what I consider good, one element is absolutely indispensable, and this
is that I must be able to like the protagonist/s. Although there was
nothing absolutely repellent about Ms Kurtz' knights, they failed
completely to engage me. The characters were shady and incompletely
drawn and appeared to me very two-dimensional. So the books for me did
not work as fantasy fiction either. In fact as I reflect on those works
of historical that I have enjoyed, it becomes apparent to me that in
them too, the characters need to be well developed in order for the book