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Publisher's Summary

The violent clash between the Ottoman Empire and the Knights of St John on the island fortress of Malta serves as the backdrop to Eight-Pointed Cross. Young siblings Domenicus and Katrina Montesa live under constant threat of raids by the Ottoman Turks, the staunchest enemies of the Christian knights. All the while, hundreds of leagues away in Istanbul, Demir's dream of becoming an imperial horseman in the Sultan's cavalry is his only salvation against relentless torment by his cruel brother.

The Turkish invasion of Malta and the island's bloody defence will forever change the lives of the three protagonists, whose fates are intertwined not only with each other, but with nobles and peasants, knights and corsairs, tyrants and gally slaves, on both sides of the conflict as the novel sweeps across the Mediterranean world of the 16th century - from Malta, a barren Christian outpost, to Istanbul, the glittering seat of Islam, from filthy prison cells to lush palace gardens. Against soaring cliffs and open sea-lanes, the men and women of Eight-Pointed Cross face corruption and oppression, broken vows and betrayal, as two great empires collide. Surviving this battle-soaked world of swords and scimitars will test the limits of every character's courage, loyalty, and love.

©2011 Marthese Fenech (P)2019 Marthese Fenech

What listeners say about Eight Pointed Cross

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Deliciously Ambitious Historical Saga!

Author Marthese Fenech presents the violent history of 16th century Malta with living breathing storytelling vignettes from one end to the other. The details of life for the Maltese people as they succumb to slave traders, bow to Christian Knights, and sometimes serve as common soldiers clearly conveyed the difficulty, harshness, and violence present in that era. The history is more digestible because of the character relationships within these interwoven tales; good and bad.

The myriad of stories within the book as a writing technique is awesome. It helped fill in the murky background and additional depth to the violence of the Ottoman Empire’s Muslim Turks. Many parts of this historical saga filled my eyes with tears, with the suffering of the Gozotain families particularly horrific. Wars and conquest are filled with terror and fear, but the heroes and heroines are often found in Eight Pointed Cross.

The siblings Domenicus and Katrina Montesa are so real and relatable as a family unit who grow up over the course of the book. I loved Katrina with her determination and independent thoughts, not common among females of the period. Yet her character is very relatable and sadly naive. Frankly, all the characters are well developed regardless of their role from the Montesa siblings to their father; Angelic overcoming her initial suffering; and Demir who knows right from wrong in his heart and mind. Ms. Fenech laces her extensive research into a compelling history brought to life because of her amazing characters and their interactions. The story has twists and turns that are more enjoyable with the concise bite-sized chapters.

I was concerned initially with the length of this novel, but I was immediately captivated by the clear expression filled voice of Simon Hester, as he embraced the superb prose. Simon’s voice adds a realistic richness to an historical fiction masterpiece. The overwhelming sincerity to his narration made me think he watched the scenes as they were occurring and related it just for me. Simon Hester is the ideal narrator for Eight Pointed Cross This audible book had no production issues and the quality was consistent from beginning to end.

I enjoyed listening to the comprehensive descriptions, richness of history, extensive character development, and personalization of this historical saga. I highly recommend it for those who enjoy listening to a story with unfiltered realism. Not for the squeamish, but then war and conquest never is.

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Best Historical Fiction Novel I’ve Read in a Decade

This was simply the best historical fiction novel I’ve read in a decade. And now I’m hooked to read parts II and III. Absolutely fantastic!

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The audio is as great as the book

I rated this book 5 stars a few years ago, so when I saw the audio version release, I had to buy it. And it was just as good as the book. The narrator was easy to listen to and seemed to have a slight Brittish accent which worked well for the book since it takes place in Europe.

Like the book, I was able to listen to the audio for weeks since it is so long which to me is a bonus. The books takes place during 16th century Malta and Turkey when the Christian knights of the Order of St. John fought the Muslim Turks of the Ottoman Empire and was researched well. The characters were well developed and I found myself rooting for them as their stories intertwined with the history of Malta.

As with all my favorite books, I never felt like I was reading (or listening to) a history text. Instead, I was engrossed in the story and its well-developed characters, so I was easily able to absorb the rich historical setting, little by little.

I’m looking forward to buying the sequel when it comes out.

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  • Mr. Anthony D. Bateman
  • 01-14-21

paragraphs

a good story bound in history of the endless war of hatred between churches with the same god, as always the innocent suffer and evil men carry out evil deeds, in this tale children grow to young adults, changing their views whilst suffering life with few joys, a very good book almost 4.5
and yet a poor narrator who takes a breath when the paragraph isn't finished but worse does not when one does, haplessly carrying on often when the tale has switched characters or in a different country.