The Heretic by Joseph Nassise: Urban Fantasy or Horror? 4

I’ve never read anything quite like The Heretic before. And there’s probably a very good reason for that.

I found this book, the first in the Templar Chronicles series by Joseph Nassise, in my search for urban fantasy books. After all the subtitle is “A Templar Chronicles urban fantasy thriller.” Better yet, the Kindle version was being offered by Amazon for only 99 cents for a limited time. (Sorry that deal is now over. I got in on the last couple of days. It’s now $3.99 for Kindle.)

So I bought the book and happily settled down in my armchair, ready for a good read. Before long, however, I discovered that this book was not what I thought it was. “Oh my!” I thought. “I think this is a horror book!” I generally don’t read Stephen King type of horror, but I was already hooked by the main characters, Templar Knights with swords. Gotta love the swords. So I read on.

I found the book really is an urban fantasy horror thriller. (Did I just make a new genre?) So, yes, the book is unlike anything I’ve ever read before, but I’m not extremely familiar with the horror genre, so I can’t really say how it compares to other books in its class.

That said, I really liked this book. Not that I’m going to run out and start reading all the horror books I can find, but this one really had me hooked. I admit it’s a guy’s book, so if you love the Amish, this probably isn’t for you. In fact, I just might have to shell out $3.99 for book 2. (It’s just not fair that they put the beginning of book 2 in the back of book 1. But, hey, it’s a strategy that works on people like me so from the publisher’s standpoint it’s a pretty good idea.)

Here’s the gist of the book: Cade Williams is one of the modern day Knights Templar, but doesn’t fit the profile of one of the knights in this secret paramilitary organization that is still connected to and answers to the higher-ups in the Roman Catholic church. Rather, Cade is out for revenge. A demon killed his wife and changed his life. Now he is consumed with finding “The Adversary,” the person or being (I never figured out which it is) responsible for her death. However, that’s just the subplot.

The novel actually revolves around the Spear of Destiny, the sword that pierced Christ’s side, and the Knights efforts to protect it from an evil Necromancer.

One thing I found intriguing about this book is the focus it places on faith in God. Most of the knights are very devout men, taking Holy Communion, and attending mass weekly and before battle. The author even penned the words to prayers said by the knights — something I found refreshing and a bit unusual for books not classified as inspirational.

Cade, however, struggles with his faith. He was a SWAT officer and a devout Christian before losing his wife to the enemy and now questions why God would allow that to happen in such a horrible manner, especially in light of the fact that he’s not even sure if she (a devout Christian herself) went to heaven or some kind of limbo. All in all, a very intriguing combination of plots for me.

If the author read my review he might laugh at my naivete going into this book. Somehow I missed the fact that he was the former president of the Horror Writers Association. He he.

If you’d like more info, here are some links:

Amazon: The Heretic (A Templar Chronicles urban fantasy thriller)
The Author:

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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4 thoughts on “The Heretic by Joseph Nassise: Urban Fantasy or Horror?

  • Meredith Leigh Burton

    I enjoyed this review. Although I’m not a horror fan myself, I do like books by Ted Dekker, who dabbles in the horror genre quite frequently. I’m glad the knights were so devout, and I’ll definitely check the book out. Thanks and God bless.

  • Mom

    I finally stumbled onto your website & read your book reviews. Very impressive. It does sound interesting, however, your description of “The Heretic,” by Joseph Nassise: Urban Fantasy or Horror? Posted on July 13, 2011 was so impressive, I’ve decided against reading it. 😉 I love your website — GOOD JOB! — And, I love you!