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Their Legendary Courage

Isabel Ricardo
Isabel Ricardo Author Interview

The Quest for the Lost Map follows a group of teenagers that discover a map to the lost treasure of the Knights Templar. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I’ve always admired the Templars due to their noble code of conduct, their legendary courage and discipline. As I referred in my book, in combat they were always the first to strike and the last to retreat. They could not beg for mercy or pay ransom for their own lives if captured. They would fight to the death and could retreat only if outnumbered by their enemies three to one. The Order’s honor demanded the sacrifice of one’s own life. In addition to being fearless, they were also deeply respected by their enemies. For all of this, they’ve always invoked in me a certain fascination. During the time when I was writing the 9th volume in another young adult series (The Adventurers), this trilogy’s special plot came to me naturally, inspiring me to create these characters and involving the Knight Templars. I’m always very excited with the creation of new characters and mysterious situations.

Which character in the novel do you feel you relate to more and why?

I very much relate to all of the characters in this book, even the thug Simon, who I had so much fun creating. I particularly liked Sara, not only for her personality, with which I relate greatly, but also for her difficult life. It’s very special to be able to dive into those times, dream about them, transport myself to them, live those moments, thrill myself with the characters, and discover facts or details so interesting that I cannot resist transmiting them to my readers, providing them with this same pleasure.

What research did you do for this novel to get the history of the Knights Templar right?

I always do a lot of research for all of my books and I have published 36 so far. I read everything there is about the chosen time so that I can be aware of all the occurrences, the traditional customs, how they dressed, how they spoke, what they ate and what they drank, in a way that I feel transported to that time as if I was living there, living with the characters which existed and the ones I’ve created. And that’s how I can transmit this feeling to my readers. In this case, the exhaustive research landed on the Templar’s Order. I’ve always been astounded by the infamous and unjust conspiracy against them. So, I wished to transmit this knowledge to my young readers, so they could get to know them like I do. I deem it very important to learn something as you read. If you can associate learning to the pleasure of reading, then that is just excellent.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am currently writing my next historical novel, in my native language which is Portuguese. The next volume in this trilogy, “The Forgotten Treasure”, is set to be released in the second semester of 2022. Furthermore, in the beginning of 2022, the first volume of the Warrior’s of Light, “Sofia Gama and the Templar’s Prophecy”, and the historical novel, “The Last Conspirator”, are set to be published by Underline Publishing as well.

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A long-lost map… A treasure, forgotten… A well-kept secret, waiting to be unveiled…! Andy, Kelly, and Mike are on vacation in Sesimbra. They meet the mysterious Sarah Santiago, an orphan who lives with her miserly, hateful aunt and uncle, who make her life miserable. Unexpectedly, the four youngsters dive into a whirlwind of astonishing events, coming across an elderly Frenchman imprisoned in Saint Mary Castle and becoming entangled with a dangerous international gang that searches for a map that was lost many centuries ago. A map that hides a big secret. The location of the Templars’ treasure…

The Quest for the Lost Map

The Quest for the Lost Map by Isabel Ricardo starts by taking you back to 1307. A secret order has just been given by King Philip IV to capture, imprison, torture, and kill all Knights Templar in France. However, Grand Master Jacques de Molay discovered word of the plan. He calls upon Templar Jean-Luc to escape before the captures begin, entrusting him with the safekeeping and safety of a very important map. Jean-Luc flees for safe land in Portugal where he cannot be captured, with the map tucked safely away. There, he lives the remainder of his life with other Knights Templar, safe from King Philip IV’s harsh sentence.

Fast forward to the present day. Gabrielle and her kids, Andy and Kelly, have just been given the opportunity to vacation in Sesimbra. The only catch is that they have to take on Mike, the troubled son of a family friend. On vacation, they meet the mysterious Sarah, a teenager with a dark secret.

At the same time, a group of men has been hired to seek out the secret map from so long ago. Through misfortune and a lot of adventure, the teenagers and the dangerous men all end up with the same mission; finding the map that will lead them to the Holy Grail. 

The author writes in a way that draws you into the story immediately. From the first line to the last, readers will be fully immersed and wondering what was going to happen next. The backstory of Jean-Luc and the Templars is based on factual events in history that will entice historical fiction readers. The author does an excellent job of describing the scene without becoming redundant. She tied up the backstory of the Kings Templar nicely without a lot of unneeded fluff.

The Quest for the Lost Map really started to pick up speed when it flips to the present time. Readers will laugh and relate to the relationship between siblings Andy and Kelly. Kelly is the typical sister, annoyed at everything her brother does. When it counts, though, they are there for one another. It was nice to see them grow in maturity, too, through lessons learned from Mike and Sarah. Sarah’s rough past made her grow up quickly, but she certainly taught her new friends some important life lessons.

This novel shows the strong bond of friendship among the teens, everybody comes together to help a girl in need. Sarah has not had an easy life, she is not use to anyone being willing to help her. Although they have only just met her, everybody really comes together to help get her out of her situation. The unity and close bonds remind you that there are good people out there. Of course, that isn’t to say that the kids don’t try to take matters into their own hands when things aren’t moving quickly enough for their liking.

When it comes to the group of men searching for the secret map, they are supposed to be dangerous. Instead, they seem more grumpy and irritated but not threatening. Isabel Ricardo does a great job inserting humor as the teens outsmart the men on more than one occasion.

The Quest for the Lost Map: The Port of the Grail Trilogy Book 1 will entertain historical fiction lovers, especially those that have a passion for the Knights Templar. Readers that enjoy young adult fiction will find enjoyment following the teens adventures and antics. This is a great start to the series.

Pages: 335 | ISBN: 1949868427

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