Editor (Aspect--a division of Warner Books) ISBN 0-446-60138-1

THIS BOOK is a series of short stories by a number of renowned authors of Speculative Fiction and Fantasy brought together by the author of the best-selling Deryni series, Katherine Kurtz. Included are stories by Poul Anderson, Elizabeth Moon and Deborah Turner Harris. The stories in this remarkably fun book (under my catagory of escapist mind-candy) deal with subjects as diverse as time travel, secret agents, Baphomet, Nazi Germany and an sevenhundred year-old Quixotic Templar in Texas. Hereís a brief synopsis of some of the stories:

 "The City of Brass" by Deborah Turner Harris and Robert J. Harris deals with a captured Templar survivor of the battle of Cressac sent by Saladin in search for a lost temple and a mysterious treasure.

 "Obligations" by Katherine Kurtz tells the story of Sir Adam Sinclair, dealing with astral travel and a quest.

 "1941" by Scott MacMillan deals with an arrogant, self-serving SS officer who must find the secrets of Templar wealth and power for his superiors or perish.

 "Word of Horor" by Tanya Huff is the story of a young womanís search for answers behind a magical Templar pendant and an ancient Scottish ghost.

 "Choices" by Richard Woods tells the tale of a student, an ex-Templar on the run and a community of Dominicans in search for the truth behind the fall of the Templars in the early 14th Century.

 "Knight of Other Days" by Elizabeth Moon is the story of a Texas border town in 1952, where an old wise-woman and a mysterious old man must find what to do with a Templar stone that stops "the dead who could curse the world"...

 "Death and the Knight" by Poul Anderson finds Manse Everard of the Time Patrol coming to the rescue of one of their agents who breaks the first rule of time travel: Do nothing that will change history. Can they stop the history of the Templars from irrevocably changing life, as we know it today?

 I found this book to be a delightful flight of fancy, touching on some of my favorite authors of Speculative Fiction and Fantasy, taking the question, "What if..." to fun filled extremes. A welcome change from some of the dry-as-dust historical facts on the Templars, and highly recommended!