1 Apr 2019

Revelation by Olivia Rae

Sword and Cross Chonicles #2
July 8th 2015, HopeKnight Press, 296 Pages 
Print and Ebook 

King Richard needs a royal wedding…

Richard’s niece, the feisty and resourceful Lady Ariane is to be his pawn. Though she has spent the last ten years living with the infidels in the Holy Land, Richard plans to turn her into a pious Christian lady, one fit to marry the nephew of King Phillip of France and, thus, seal a lucrative contract between the two countries.

But she needs the right teacher.

Proud and fierce, Templar Knight, Julian de Maury believes he has been chosen by God to free the holy city of Jerusalem from Saladin’s evil grip. But when Richard orders Julian to return to England with Lady Ariane and oversee her Christian education, he’s angry and terrified; he has been denied his destiny and England holds a dark secret better left buried. Now he must come to terms with his past and his attraction to the forbidden Lady Ariane.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐


Once again, I have finished a book in this series with mixed feelings. On the one hand it turned out to be a good story, with love, intrigue and adventure.
On the other hand, it was hard for me to take this seriously as any kind of 'historical' fiction. . There was so many silly historical errors and inaccuracies that at times, I wondered if the author had read a single book on the Crusades, or 12th century History.

People  bathing was sinful, and the Knights Templar referring to themselves as the 'Order of the Templar' were just a few examples. That was not their name, and I don't think its even grammatically correct. Their correct name was the Knights of the Temple of Solomon, Templar is just an abbreviation of that.

Most inaccurate I felt though, was the assumption that all nobles at this time spoke primarily in English, so a we have a young woman captured by Saracens would have been taught English. No. This was the 12th century. English was considered the language of the commoners. The aristocracy, even those who came from England would have spoken French as their first language.
Now, I am not suggesting the author should have had characters speaking old French or something: but treating English as some kind of internationally recognized Lingua Franca in a novel set in the 12th century is just- really silly.

Also, no Muslim woman would have worn a transparent veil. Seriously, veils were worn for the specific purpose of covering the hair: a see through one defeats that purpose. Transparent veils and headscarves are a silly movie trope. There were other common tropes as well: such as the idea that almost all Templars and practically all of the Medieval Catholic church was evil and corrupt.
Ariane is supposed to have been kidnapped by Saracens and raised as a Muslim for 10 years, but apart from a few references to Allah, she seemed to have almost no understanding of that religion.  I very much doubt any Muslim woman would have been openly living as a mistress: or in a harem. Muslim women would normally have been subject to much higher standards as far as sexual morality was concerned. 
She also seemed to have no problem drinking wine, despite the Islamic prohibition on the consumption of alcohol. 

Her whingeing about not wanting anyone to 'control her life' came across as gratingly modern, and I really did not care for a certain plot device used in each novel in this series, which I won't give away but will become obvious to readers. To me, it makes things too easy.

So, ultimately this novel was OK, but it could have been set at almost any time in history. Even the fact that Julian was supposed to be a Templar only seems to have been put in because of the fascination with all things related to the Knights Templar these days.
I did feel that is sort of dragged towards the end as well, as things got rather far-fetched and contrived to keep the characters apart, or to keep the danger and drama to a high level. It could have ended about 40-50 pages earlier, but there had to be one more misunderstanding or fight scene.

I would read the next book in the series, but I have read better novels set during the period of the 3rd Crusade. Although, I would say the Crusade is not the primary focus, its more of a Romance.


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