Title: The Priory Of Sion - Shedding Light On The Treasure And Legacy Of Rennes-le-château And The Priory Of Sion
Author(s): Jean-Luc Chaumeil
Published September 2010 by Avalonia Books
ISBN: 1905297416
ISBN-13: 978-1905297412
Paperback, 344 pages
List: $24.99
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Reviewer: Mike Gleason

What do you know about the Priory of Sion? The Knights Templar? Are you sure? This book offers insight into one of the most discussed, controvewrsial investigations in recent memory. The Priory of Sion and the alleged descent of the Merovingians from the blood-line of Jesus underlies Holy Blood, Holy Grail, The Messianic Legacy, and The DaVinci Code to mention only a few of the books which have come about since the subject of the alleged treasure at Rennes-le-Chateau came to the public attention.

The author of this informative volume is a French journalist and that, unfortunately, presents a few problems for those of us reading it in translation. The major stumbling block is that each language has its own "map" (view of the world) and it is sometimes difficult to superimpose one map upon another and be able to make sense of the result. In addition, certain forms of word-play (puns and alliteration come to mind) do not necessarily survive the translation process intact. This leads to questions about whether the convolutions which appear in the text are in the original or a result of the translation.

The "Stone and Paper" (a 35 page exposition written by Philippe de Cherisy published posthumously and reproduced in the current book) is a good example of some of the above problems. Although I am sure there are those who could follow the explanation of the cipher involved with ease, I am not one of them.

Through the years Pierre Plantard (aka Pierre de France as well as Pierre Plantard de Saint-Clair) appeared as the central figure of the assorted mysteries - claiming descent from the Merovingians; claiming to be the head of the Priory of Sion and the inheritor of documents which would shake the modern world to its foundations (and, coincidentally, restore the monarchy to the throne of France). How much, if any, of this was true has been debated for a number of years. The relationship between the Priory of Sion and the Knights Templar adds even more depth to the question.

Monsieur Chaumeil has had adequate time to pursue his investigations, as well as access to many of the "minor" players in the story. This gives his work a depth which has been lacking until now. If you are interested in any of the aspects of this story, this book will help to fill in some the gaps in your knowledge. I'm not sure that this is THE definitive work on the subject, but it is certainly in the top tier of them. Despite the difficulties I encountered while reading it, this book helped me to gain a fuller understanding of this very complex issue.

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