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Eight Pointed Cross: A novel of the Knights of Malta: 1 Paperback – 1 July 2011
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- ASIN : B085RNP1RM
- Publisher : Independently published (1 July 2011)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 533 pages
- ISBN-13 : 979-8621620004
- Dimensions : 15.24 x 3.4 x 22.86 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 82,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The novel is set in the mid-1500s, on the island of Malta, during military aggression between the Ottoman Empire and the Knights of St John. The story features some battle scenes but mainly follows the life of two siblings (Domenicus and Katrina), who are well-off peasants. There are also some chapters devoted to Demir, a young boy living in Istanbul under a powerful and tyrannical father.
As much as the battle scenes are exciting and uncensored for violence, the life of the two siblings is the most fascinating part of the novel, as we are shown in detail how “regular” people lived in that time period. We are exposed to how they are constrained by the Order of Knights socially (in terms of gender roles and class) and physically threatened by raiding pirates and the Turkish invaders. Yet, the Turks are not vilified - both cultures are shown to be suffering from militant ideology and corruption.
The characters are well-developed and you care deeply about what happens to them.
There is just enough exposition of the culture, landscape and historical data to paint a vivid picture but not enough to get boring. Despite the length of the book, I couldn’t put it down.
Thank you Mar!