Book Review: The Devil’s Crossing by Hana Cole

Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Sharpe Books
Pub date: 22 April 2020
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Description from Amazon:


The Chartrain, France.

Gui is a troubled priest who has been shielding his secret family for years.

Agnes, his beloved, is a falsely-accused heretic he rescued from the Inquisition’s pyre.

Their son Etienne, unaware of his father’s true identity, is coming of age. Tired of his lowly shepherd’s life, he seeks adventure. The Crusade is the perfect opportunity to prove himself to the world. He has no reason to suspect the men offering him passage overseas are not what they seem.

Discovering that Etienne has been sold into slavery, Gui and Agnes set off to find him. If Gui is ever to tell his son the truth, he must give up his comfortable compromises and fight the battle of his life against the institution he has served devoutly.

Meanwhile, Agnes guards a secret of her own; she must face her past in a confrontation with the venal Amaury, Lord of Maintenon, that will either set her free or claim her life.

If they are to save their son and expose the slave trade, they must risk everything to overcome the powerful enemies who will stop at nothing to protect their positions and silence them.

The Devil’s Crossing is a fantastic debut novel. Cole has honestly smashed it.

Cole has created a story of history with fictional characters that works very well to highlight the events of the children’s crusade and the misery subjected to those who found themselves enslaved.

The emotions of the characters are brought through and you can feel the atmosphere alive with tension and fear. The descriptives are so vivid I could also feel myself on a boat crossing rough seas or sitting in the oppressive heat of a Cairo market.

A demand for action pit against an oppressive enemy whose name she knew was Fear.

There are some fantastic characters in this book, both good and evil and I loved how those people developed throughout the book. My favourite is probably Etienne, his story and the horror he faces but his personality never dims.

Cole has managed to give readers the experience of those suffering under the actions of the greedy, it’s a book that will stick with me for bringing to light events I was previously unaware of.

One of the things I love about historical fiction is that I constantly learn new things. I greatly admire authors who use words we may no longer use frequently and this book is no exception. From items of clothing to food I enjoy looking up these words and find it adds to the enjoyment of the book.

I am a big fan of author’s notes at the end of historical fiction as I’m always intrigued by where ideas came from. Cole gives the background to the history and provides further reading for those who are interested, something I’m always grateful for.

I started this book at 9am and I finished around 2am the next morning,  I hadn’t even realised how late it was I just wanted to know what happened!

I really hope to read more from Cole in the near future.

The Devil’s Crossing is available now for £2.99 or on Kindle unlimited Amazon UK

If you haven’t yet read it please check out my guest post with Hana Cole, she was fabulous and had some great answers to my questions! You can also find Hana on Twitter @HanaScribe

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