Author:Daniel C. Lorti


The Avignon Legacy by Daniel C. Lorti is a twist on the DaVinci Code. Starting with a well written exploration of battle-torn Europe of the 14th century, the book details the life of a Jean Tremonde. Born to a humble peasant family, Tremonde benefits from his father’s saving the life of a member of the French Court.

Befriending the noble’s son, Maurice Chatillon, Tremonde is trained as a knight. He fights alongside Maurice, proving himself both brave in combat and wise in tactics. His reputation attracts the attention of member of the Papal Authority and finds himself immersed in intrigue and conspiracy.

This historical fiction sets the stage for the second phase of the novel. James Pierce, a seller of fine, one of a kind, books. Pierce finds himself similarly caught up in a conspiracy involving a tome written by Tremonde to the Pope in Rome.

The novel takes one on a twisting ride through the history of the church and the accumulated power and wealth of the Papal treasure. Pierce must find the letter, decipher the code, and survive those willing to kill to uncover the secrets.

Lorti does an excellent job of weaving the historical background necessary to understanding the influence and power of the 14th century church. He blends both facts and fictional representations of life in these times. Tremonde and the supporting characters come to life.

One can see the battles, feel the tension, almost hear the sounds of the dead and dying. All of this done with a goal of furthering the story and the reader’s interest in following the tale.

Pierce, portrayed as somewhat of a knight of a more modern time, comes across as both competent and skilled without seeming omniscient. He makes mistakes, his tactics are not perfect, yet he continues to pursue the goal despite the risks.

Anyone who enjoyed the Dan Brown series will find this book satisfying. The writing is crisp and succinct. The characters believable and well described. The action is suspenseful and creative. Overall this is a well-done novel.

If I were to offer any criticism, it would be that some of the situations experienced by the young Jean Tremonde seem to come too quickly. As if one moment he is a poor peasant’s son and the next a trained, experience nobleman.

Perhaps, there may have been a more effective way to portray the hardships of 14th century life without weighing the story down with mundane details. Nevertheless, despite this minor flaw, the book is well-written and an enjoyable read.