Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Soldier's Cross

Author:  Abigail J. Hartman
My recommended age: 11+
Their recommended age: NA
Publisher:  Ambassador Intl
Number of pages: 296

Publisher’s description:
A.D. 1415 Fiona's world is a carefully built castle in the air, made up of the fancies, wishes, and memories of her childhood. It begins to crumble as she watches her brother march away to join in the English invasion of France. It falls to pieces when he is brought home dead. Robbed of the one dearest to her and alone in the world, Fiona turns to her brother's silver cross in search of the peace he said it would bring. But when she finds it missing, she swears she will have it and sets out on a journey across the Channel and war-ravaged France to regain it and find the peace it carries.
My thoughts:
Outside of everything I have below, I am just elated that 1) Abigail Hartman is a home schooled writer.  and 2)  She was only 14 when she completed 'The Soldier's Cross'.  If she can do it, so can I!  Oh, and for NaNoers out there, this is a product of that mad race to 50,000 Words.

·         Characters:  THEY ARE SO REAL!!  Each character is his/her own person, no overlapping no copy catting, each was as unique as could be in real life.
·         Plot:  Wonderful.  It wasn't suspense, but it was a -i-can't-put-this-book-down sort of read.  Miss Hartman just sucked me in, bait, line and sinker. Plus, I know as a writer, putting a strong journey to Christ and peace can be a little hard, ok.  More than a little.  But Miss Hartman seemed to have pulled it off without a problem. 
·         Writing:  Very clear, concise, easy to read, yet poetic.  I like how she can make you feel like your there.  I felt Fiona's pain as if it was my own, I was terrified of Christoper, and became friends with Leah.  I also couldn't help but thinking Pierre one great guy.  In his own way.
·         Cover:  Isn't it cool?  The Castle, the cross, the way the chain goes through the 'C'.
·         Ending:  Lovely.  You know, I always kinda liked David.  And I had a hunch.  ;-)
·         World building:  REALLY good. Every little breeze I felt, every Apple tree, every stone in the castles.  I know JUST how I think Leah and Pierre's home looks.  You weren't just reading the words, you are in the words.

Proof that new writers aren't bad writers. 
Lovely plot and Characters.
World Building is awesome.
Easy, yet poetically beautiful read.
Strong Christian Theme and morals.  If you aren't a Christian, you wont like this book.
Fiona calls someone a Jackanapes.  But that is all.
Romance and sexual content:
Fiona is stalked by a creepy guy.  Don't worry, nothing bad happens to her.  But if it wasn't for *** it might've been not so, happy.
Fiona's brother dies in battle, and someone else is killed. Wont say who.

Drugs and drink:
In that time, it was normal to drink wine, so it is only in that context.
Random Preview:
"Oh will you not come on?" She demanded through clenched teeth, wishing she had a halter with which to lead the uncooperative creature.  She pulled and her feet slipped; Cesaire pulled back, the iron on his hoofs scratching marks in the ice. The horse's eyes were nearly rolled back inhis head, his ears were flat back on his skull, and his thick lips were pulled back to show his yellow jagged teeth and dark gums.
"You might want to make him move a little faster," The girl quipped from her seat on the frosty ground.  "He may wear a whole in the ice doing that".
Pride, still a dominant characteristic of  her British nature, kept her from asking the children for their help.  She set her her face and stained until the muscles bulged in her neck and her jaw was thrust out at an odd angle, Practically dragging Cesaire by his mane and gaining but little ground.  The sweat was breaking out on her forehead when she at last reached the middle of the creek and by the time she at last got the horse on the firm ground again, her bodice had dark, wet patches on it.  On the opposite bank, the boy and girl clapped and laughed at her achievement, their dark eyes dancing with mischief, and then scampered off.  Fiona sat down heavily on a bit of earth that had less snow than the rest of the ground and watched the children until they were out of sight, her hands balled into fists.  It was not until she rose that she realized the reason for their merriment, for she saw around the bend of the stream what she could not have seen on the other side: A little wooden bridge spanning the river.  It was not wide, but it was large enough for her to lead Cesaire across.  "The Devil take you!" She cried after the children, her voice echoing in the stillness.

I undoubtedly give this a:

Random note:
Miss Hartman's blog can be found @:  Scribbles and Ink Stains
And you can purchase this lovely book via Amazon: The Soldier's Cross

1 Reader views:

Lèrowen said...

Sounds like such a great book! I want to read it! Thank you for the reveiw.

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