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Firstly, Mr. Whyte I thoroughly enjoyed the Dream of Eagles novels... visceral, gripping writing with a pragmatic & realistic drape for figures out of the myths & legends of Anglo-Saxon culture (& by default, highly influential on much of the culture of the 'western world').
I particularly enjoyed your creative treatment of Merlyn, the wizard who could do no magic, and the pragmatic Roman Publius Varrus.... wonderfully done.
So, I'm eagerly awaiting what magic you can weave with that ever-so popular topic in the post-DaVinci Code days - the Templar Knights.
Unfortunately, although I've enjoyed the plot & characters immensely so far in The Knights of Black & White, I do have two comments of a critical nature to level at your research. Me being who I am (I'll explain later), I found these 'inaccuracies' to be greatly damaging to my enjoyment of your Templar work so far. I didn't have this jarring shock in your Camuod series, in spite of some of the more fanciful creations you managed to work into your characters' story.
Firstly - on medieval swords: the term 'broadsword' is a complete misnomer in its application to ANY sword of the middle ages... in fact, it was only introduced in Victorian Britain in application to Scottish backswords & then inaccurately transposed onto medieval single-handed and hand & a-half (or bastard) swords. Such blades were only ever referred to as 'swords'. The 'long sword' always referred to a two-handed sword.
As for any medieval knight wielding a sword that weighed 14 lbs??? That is a complete & gross exaggeration of the real weight of medieval swords & seems to perpetuate the 'Hollywood' myth of swords being these grossly awkward & unwieldy slabs of iron (thus having the wielders staggering about in sword dragging exhaustion within minutes).
A REAL medieval sword of the type you've described on p. 28 (Knights of the Black & White, hard cover) would have historically & realistically weighed around FOUR pounds & no more. Also, only rarer double handed swords of the type used by infantry like the Swiss mercenaries & the German Landsknecht ever had blades longer than 3 ft. The typical & well-documented average weights of many 11th C. bastard swords was around 2.5 lbs only (not much heavier than a decent handgun interestingly enough)... AND such weapons were superbly balanced & quite 'light' in the hand. Even massive double-handed swords like the Scottish Claymore & Landknecht swords never weighed more than 5 lbs or so.
Secondly - on the Physiology of medieval knights - (p. 29) I appreciate much of what you say on the rigorous training & superb conditioning of the medieval knights... their only purpose in life was to train for battle & they often epitomized the greater size & strength that a more privileged lifestyle & diet offered in the Middle Ages. However, one of the anomalies historians have noted in comparing ancient men to modern is the size of modern man's THIGHS & buttocks has increased greatly since WW II. In fact, all mens' clothing manufacturers have re-patterned the cut of mens' pants to accommodate this development. Medieval knights would have undoubtedly had strong & capable legs, however, their thighs were significantly smaller than many modern men. This is clearly obvious in studies of medieval suits of armour (where it's rather obvious that the metal tube encasing the thigh is only 'so big').
To conclude: these two small 'hiccups' in what I believe to be a more accurate (& thus more realistic & believable) presentation of knights of the early Middle Ages are certainly not grossly damaging... they just took some of the shine off of MY enjoyment as I feel they perpetuate further inaccuracies regarding medieval knights & their lifestyle... especially the 14 lb sword comment. I just felt it altered to the negative the veracity of the wonderful tale you are spinning. Perhaps it's too late to alter any of the plots you've created to finalize the Knights' Templar works, but I just hate to see inaccuracies passed on.
For the record: I'm a martial artist who has trained continuously since 1977 in fencing, Wado Kai Karate, Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo, Kobudo, & Western Martial Arts... among a few other things. I'm a former officer & NCO in armoured reconnaissance regiments & a current High School English teacher (sound familiar ... :blink: ). I am regularly contracted to teach outdoor survival courses (to complement my interest in primitive life skills & tools). I currently live in Calgary AB & travel often to the Kelowna/Penticton area to visit a good friend & camp in the summers. I own several accurate copies of medieval swords (by Deltin, Paul Chen, etc.); I've handled ALL the swords in the very extensive Glenbow Museum archives on 4 occasions, and I've had the pleasure of learning many things to do with the swords & armour with men like Hank Reinhardt (North America's most respected sword historian), Peter Fuller (Medieval Reproductions - world class armourer) & John Clements (pioneer of Western Martial Arts in N. Am.).
I'm in Kelowna every summer... if Mr. Whyte would like to see & handle some accurate medieval swords I can certainly throw in with my camp gear & drop by when I'm soaking up the sun in the Okanagan.
Actually, I'm quite convinced I'd find Mr. Whyte & Dave Duncan (another of my favorite authors) sipping on a pint in some pub in Kelowna... ;)