I received a free ecopy of The White Cross from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for my honest review.
About the Book:
Publication Date: September 24, 2014
Red Door Publishing Ltd
eBook & Paperback; 496 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
The White Cross is a whole new reading experience; a book that brings something entirely original to historical fiction. Set in the late twelfth century at the time of King Richard I’s crusade to win back Jerusalem from the Saracens, the story deals with timeless issues – with the moralities of warfare and fundamental religion, the abuse of power, the heights of martial fervour and the depths of disillusionment The writing blazes with colour (literally in the case of the printed edition, which makes groundbreaking use of colour throughout). It pulses with life, capturing the sights and sounds, the very smells of medieval life. At the novel’s heart is the relationship between Garon and Elise – the story of an arranged marriage which rapidly develops into something deeper, to challenge a young husband’s strongly held beliefs and set him on a long and painful journey to self-realisation, to break and finally restore a woman’s spirit as she battles for recognition and for justice in a brutal man’s world. And then there is the Berge dal becce; a character who is surely more than he appears? The only way to uncover all the secrets of The White Cross is to read it!
About the Author:
Richard Masefield comes from a family of writers – John Masefield was his cousin – and with a love of animals and the outdoors he decided at a young age that he would farm and write, if necessary both at once.
It took years of hard work before Richard could realise his dream, and in fact his first published novel was written while milking a herd of Friesian cows. He still lives on his farm in Sussex with his wife Lee and together they spend as much time as possible with their large family of children and grandchildren.
You can visit Richard’s website at www.richardmasefield.co.uk.
You can follow the Richard Masefield Virtual Book Tour
This book is not going to be for everyone. It begins with Richard II learning of the death of his father but the book is the tale of two people thrown together in marriage. It is harsh, it is profane and it is at times not easy to read. As we know from history, Richard II, know as the Lionheart spend most of his reign out of England on Crusade. He is not known as a gentle man – he is a man of War and Mr. Masefield portrays him in a very rough and brash way.
The “romance” at the heart of the tale is between Garon and Elise. It is an arranged marriage as most were in this time between the upper classes. Garon is also a man of war and cares little for Elise beyond what she can bring him. Elise is a woman of strength and intelligence and like most women of her ilk she is told she is good for naught but bearing heirs. Oh, the joys of being female in the middle ages!
The White Cross spares no one feelings – the descriptions are realistic and at times stomach turning. The language is vile and the sex is erm, descriptive and plentiful. As I noted – not for everyone. The history is well researched and the characters well developed. Elise and Garon – being the true heroes of the story grow, learn and change which is a revelation. This does not always happen in a book. I just had a hard time with the overwhelming use of language and sex as a crutch to help move the story forward.