Inspired by a medieval legend of the historic Roland – known here by his native Frankish name, Hruodland – Kim Rendfeld’s The Cross and the Dragon offers a new imagining of his world, one drawn through the creative possibilities of fiction. Alda takes the majority of the story’s focus, and it’s through her world that the reader comes to know Hruodland; their love story plays a leading role in the novel, with the vast historic elements of 778 presenting a striking backdrop. Alda is a character easy to enjoy, and the reader will find themselves endeared to her youthful ideas at age fifteen before admiring her courage in the trails that bring her unprecedented maturity later in the story. Her obstinacy never wavers, making her a memorable and delightful heroine. Her love for Hruodland is profoundly felt through the pages, and the characters’ determination to be reunited after the war catches the reader’s heartstrings in an instant.
The history in The Cross and the Dragon is a powerful presence as well. Although I was not very familiarized with the details of Charlemagne’s reign, the author’s meticulous research and creative liberties map out the story’s medieval world in simple but beautiful detail, effectively illustrating the era without pulling the reader's focus away from the story. I felt as though I had stepped back in time and was watching the scenes play out, so clear was the picture that the novel presented. I fell easily into this world and felt wonderfully engaged with the characters, from Alda’s strength to Hruodland’s valor and even Ganelon’s vengeful wrath. Each character and historical element worked together to make The Cross and the Dragon a delightfully entertaining and thrilling read.
Title: The Cross and the Dragon Author: Kim Rendfeld Genre: Historical, romance Publisher: Fireship Press Release date: July 5, 2012 Source: Kim Rendfeld (C/O) Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Better World Books Connect with the author: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads