(What a Gorgeous Cover!)
The Cross and the Dragon by Kim Rendfeld flourished from The Song of Roland (11th c.) This beautiful poem and remarkably, the oldest piece of literature in France, was based on a hero during the battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778. History buffs will delight in this novel that brings back the chivalry, honor and love in the time of Charlemagne. The details of everyday life, battles and more are remarkably captured in its true authenticity.
Alda, our bold heroine of the 8th c. is nearly forced into marriage to the tyrannical Ganelon- but through her courage and insistence things fortunately go the way of her heart and she marries Prince Hruodland (the hero based on the legend).
Rendfeld really captures the essence of the times in not only the details in the way of life and the setting- but in her characters as well. In keeping in mind the period in history that branded women as slaves and child bearers- with religion as the absolute ruler- characters and plot were truly reflective of what might have been. This helped me understand how Alda’s strong religious inclinations were the basis for many of her actions and reactions. In the same breath, Hruodland who loved her fiercely, often appeared aloof or detached; behaviors that were consistent with the times. I really appreciated the author’s in- depth knowledge of the history and her knack to create from it a novel busting with impeccable details that carried me vividly into medieval times.
A wonderful debut for Kim Rendfeld!