If you believe that Dan Brown came up with the theories found in The Da Vinci Code, then you are sadly mistaken. More than two decades ago, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail made controversial speculations pertaining to a Messianic lineage. Having been granted access to European Sovereign and Nobel archives, and to chivalric and church repositories, Laurence Gardner's The Bloodline of the Holy Grail begins where the previous book ended.
Based on his research, Gardner gives us a detailed account of the supposedly authentic line of succession of the Blood Royal (from the sons of Jesus and his brother James). The author also shines some light on the ruthless attempts by various religious authorities to suppress the truth.
This book should appeal to anyone who has enjoyed Brown's controversial novel. But The Bloodline of the Holy Grail is more thesis than novel, thus it doesn't always read that easily. There are over 140 pages of notes and references, genealogical charts, bibliography, etc.
This book goes back in time, tracing the origins of the bloodline. Following in Jesus' footsteps, Gardner studies the Messiah, the Apostles, the crucifixion, and what occurred next. The author then elaborates on Paul's mythological view of Jesus. Understandably, Mary Magdalene plays an important role in this book, and so does Joseph of Arimathea. The rise of the Roman Church is studies as well.
We then follow the bloodline through the Pendragons, the legend of King Arthur, the Crusader Knights, the persecution of the Templars, the Kingdom of the Scots, the Age of Chivalry, the Inquisition, etc. All in all, a fascinating book to read.
If you have an open mind, this thought-provoking book is an interesting read. If you are a die-hard Christian, don't bother picking this one up. . .