Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Book Spotlight: Clement: The Templar’s Treasure (Clement, Book 3) by Craig R. Hipkins


Clement & Dagena return for another action-packed adventure. From the cold and dreary shores of Greenland to the fabled land of Vinland. The legendary treasure of the Knights Templar awaits.


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Clement: The Templar’s Treasure is set in the middle of the 12th century. It was the age of chivalry and the day of the troubadours. The history of Europe during this time is well known. There have been countless books written about the crusades and the jousting tournaments prevalent during this age. Every student of medieval history knows about Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lionheart, and Geoffrey of Monmouth. Even the peasant life of medieval Europe has been written about and popularized by writers such as Frances and Joseph Gies. In China, this was the age of the Song dynasty and the birth of gunpowder. However, not much is known about what was going on across the ocean in North America.

(Christian Krohg) Leif Discovering America

In this third installment of the Clement series, the boy knight travels in the wake of Leif Erikson, albeit a century and a half after that explorer first mentions Vinland in the Norse sagas. It is said that Leif filled a boat with grapes in a region more temperate than Greenland or Iceland. It is thought by historians Leif might have stumbled across the cranberry bogs of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Not much is known about the people living in this region during the 12th century. The indigenous inhabitants of New England at this time did not keep calendars or written records, or if they did, they have not survived. It would be nearly five centuries until the English colonists in the 17th century recorded anything about the Wampanoag or Nipmuck peoples that lived in this area. As I am a native New Englander, I am familiar with the history of these Native American people. In my book, I describe in detail what a Nipmuck village might have looked like in the 12th century. I based the description on a late 16th century watercolor of an Algonquin village which is located in the British Museum. It is believed that like most European towns and cities in medieval times, indigenous American towns would also have been fortified to prevent a sudden attack by a hostile power.

I am well familiar with the topography in Clement: The Templar’s Treasure. I grew up in Central Massachusetts and woke up every morning with a view of the ‘Lone Mountain’ out my bedroom window. The name of the mountain is Wachusett which, loosely translated is an Algonquin word for ‘Near the Mountain.’ My research of the Nipmuck and Wampanoag of New England was limited to descriptions and literature of early colonists like William Bradford. However, a lot can be discovered by reading these early accounts of New England life. I imagine that not much had changed in the centuries between the events in my book and the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620.

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 Craig R. Hipkins

Craig R. Hipkins grew up in Hubbardston Massachusetts. He is the author of medieval and gothic fiction. His novel, Adalbert is the sequel to Astrolabe written by his late twin brother Jay S. Hipkins (1968-2018) He is an avid long-distance runner and enjoys astronomy in his spare time.

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  1. Thank you so much for hosting the blog tour for Clement: The Templar’s Treasure.
    All the best,
    Mary Anne
    The Coffee Pot Book Club