Book Review: The White Cross by Richard Masefield

Contrary to what might be popular belief, this is not a book blog focused solely on historical fiction. I’ve just been graced with some really nice books in this genre lately. Today, I have another but it is a bit different to the others I’ve reviewed so far.

The White Cross* by Richard Masefield is set in the late twelfth century. The focus point of this era is of King Richard I’s crusade to win back Jerusalem from the Saracens. However, it also deals with the relationship between Garon and Elise following their arranged marriage. And also who exactly is Berge dal becce?

This strand of historical fiction is usually out of my comfort zone but I am all about giving things a try. There were many elements of history that played out in The White Cross that appealed to me. I studied medieval history at university for a while so the role of royalty and Christianity in this book certainly got my attention and pulled me into the story.

From the very start, there is plenty of action in The White Cross. However, it was the romance between Garon and Elise that was most interesting to me. I was keen to find out how their relationship would evolve over time and if they could get over the awkwardness felt on their first meeting.

One downfall of The White Cross, at least for me, was that I found it a bit hard to follow. There was a lot going on and there were points when I felt a bit lost. Saying that, I like how the story was told. The narrative flips often between Garon and Elise and it was very interesting to read one perspective of an event almost immediately after another. There were also some humorous parts of the book which broke up the heavy prose. I especially enjoyed the scene where Garon and Elise consummate their marriage.

Overall, if you are a fan of this particular era of history, I believe you will like this fictional story based on the customs of the time.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The White Cross by Richard Masefield

*affiliate link


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