Sword and Cross Chonicles #2
July 8th 2015, HopeKnight Press, 296 Pages
Print and Ebook
King Richard needs a royal wedding…
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.
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: ⭐⭐⭐
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
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
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-
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
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.
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.
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.