The White Cross by Richard Masefield*

the white cross by richard masefield review
About the book: 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!

My thoughts: I have never read a historical fiction book before, my knowledge on Richard the Lionheart is slim but in my mind I paint him as a heroic figure and often think back to Robin Hood. This book strips that image of him, how much of it is truth I don't know, he is a king with a temper and greedy. Richard isn't the main character in this book but it his actions that change the lives of those the story follows, Elise and Garon, newly weds. Garon goes on Richards crusade and their lifes are changed forever both having to deal with hardships. 

Throughout the book the fonts and colours change to show who's part of the story we are reading, it looks nice visually and is a great way to move from character to character. The book is well written and paints this world vividly, although it is not a book you want to continuously keep reading, one you can't put down, it took me several weeks to get through this book, there are slow parts, fast parts, although it is a story I feel will stay with me. 

You can buy The White Cross for £10.99 from amazon.
Have you read any historical fiction books?

*This book was sent to me for reviewing purposes, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
  1. This book sounds interesting. I studied a level history but there are whole swathes of English history I have no idea about (ask me about the AustroPrussian war and that's a different matter-sad!)
    I'm reading a novel book set during the war of the roses, pre Tudors and I just have no idea about that period so it is v interesting. X


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