Review: Men of the Cross by Charlene Newcomb

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Title: Men of the Cross, Book 1 of Battle Scars

Author: Charlene Newcomb

Published: May 5, 2014

Published By: Blue X Entertainment

ISBN-13:  978-0692205945

Number of Pages: 354

Cost: $10.99 (Paperback)

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

There have been many books written about and several movies made about the crusades. Some movies include: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), Arn-The Knight Templar (2007), Saladin, The Victorious (1963) and The Crusades: Crescent and the Cross (2009).  Books written about the crusades include: Jan Guillou-The Knight Templar (1999), Sir Walter Scott – Ivanhoe (1820), Angus Donald – Holy Warrior (2010) and now Charlene Newcomb – Book 1, The Battle Scars Series Men of the Cross.

In Book 1 of Battle Scars Men of the Cross, author Charlene Newcomb created a mixture of war, action, adventure, post-traumatic stress disorder and a same sex relationship with a dash of romance and a subtle pinch of politics and religion.

When King Richard the Lionheart put out a call for brave men to join the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Henry de Grey believed it was his duty for God, king and country to answer that call. While he had never been to battle, he was ready, if it was God’s will, to die on the battle field defending the cause.

Stephan L’Aigle, a seasoned and hardened Knight had been seventeen years old when he took up the Cross for Richard, not the Pope or the Church. Readers get a hint of Stephan’s character early in the story: “He ignored the throng of men around him and focused on Henry.  That gaze unnerved Henry…” “You should stay and keep me warm.”  And later when a woman propositions him: “I can help.”  “I am afraid you have the wrong man, dear lady” Stephan replied.

While Henry and Stephan are the two main characters in Men of the Cross, readers will be introduced to Robin du Louviers, Little John, Allan and Marian.  If these names sounds familiar then rest assured they are who you think they are: Robin Hood, Little John and Allan (the outlaws and Merry Men) and Maid Marian.

The book reveals the amount of research that Newcomb put into her writing. A bit of her research included clothing of the time, sights and smells, behavior of the horses, the clank of swords, the sound of stone throwers and the nightmares of the Knights.

I give this book “5 Stars.”  I found Men of the Cross to be very different from other books that I have read about the Crusades and absolutely different from any movie that I have ever seen about this time period.

I recommend the Battle Scars series for anyone who is interested in the Crusades, historical fiction, same sex relationships, action, adventure or just a different kind of book all together.  I believe you will enjoy the characters Henry de Grey, Stephan L’Aigle and Robin du Louviers.

Movie producers and directors looking for a new twist on the Crusades should read the Battle Scars Series and turn it into a movie or a mini-series.  Personally, I believe this to have BLOCKBUSTER potential.

Book 2, Battle Scars Series, For King and Country now available.

Book 2, Battle Scars Series, Swords of the King, available 2018.

 

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About the Author: From the Authors Amazon Page

Librarian.
Navy vet.
Mom to 3 grown, amazing children.
I live in Kansas. Yes, Toto. Kansas.

Born & raised in South Carolina, I wanted a life of adventure and travel. I realized my dreams of hitting the big time with the all-girl rock band Liberation were just that – dreams. And becoming an astronaut wasn’t in the cards. So I joined the Navy to see the world and spent six years as a communications technician/voice language analyst. I fit college into my life (BA in History, and many years later an MA in Library Science). That desire to travel in space translated into writing science fiction: I published 10 short stories in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. I have written two novels, one a contemporary drama, Keeping the Family Peace; the other, Men of the Cross (book 1 of Battle Scars), allows me to share my love of history with readers.

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