"Self-publishing can rise to the occasion, and honestly, Mary Findley is one of those authors who stands a head above the rest in her effort to achieve perfection. For those who love medieval history, the Crusader period in England, all things knights and espionage, everyday estate life, and purity of period detail, you will find an absolute GEM in this story.
It's not a mystery, nor meant to be, when a long-missing son returns from the holy land to beg his father's forgiveness. Having been to hell and back, Sir Chris has at last found peace with the true Christ, something his father longed for but could not teach a hot-headed young man betrothed to his toddler cousin. Going to war in an exotic land seemed a better choice.
Hope and her mother went to live at Colchester after the death of Hope's father. Colchester is the family estate of Hope's mother, Ada, and where Hope is schooled by Ada's brother, the Baron, the father of Hope's betrothed, Richard, a man twenty years her senior who has been missing for most of Hope's life and presumed dead by all but his father. When Richard, masquerading as Sir Chris under the herald of a black lion, returns with his Arab brother in heart, Sadaquah, he is framed by another Crusader for the fire that nearly destroys Colchester and his family. Hope, who escaped with the help of her mother, accepts the aid of the Knight of the Black Lion and his surly friend, who has a strange history of his own. Their quest for truth and justice is an action-packed thrill ride, with spot-on period speech and costume that will set you down in thirteenth century England and live the adventure with these daring people.
Hope not only learns the secret of her knight-protector, but also the secret of his Samson-like strength, and is able to share it with those who need it most. Allegory, romance, action, this book will provide hours of enjoyment; suggestion: savor, don't gulp. And read through the enormous, impressive research the author did. This is why I don't write history but sit at the feet of those who do." Lisa J. Lickel said.
"Though this tale is listed as young adult fiction this "old man" of forty-six enjoyed it greatly. There were lots of twists and turns to the tale. I will admit that one twist - who Sir Chris was was very predictable however the last surprise I never saw coming. I hope at some point mrs. Findlay will return to the earl and baron and share more of their adventures with us." George McVey said.
"Nice read, very much in the character of the time period. I enjoyed reading it, and recommend!
I always enjoy finding a clean Christian romance.
:)" Sherry Chamblee said.