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Eight Pointed Cross

Written by: Marthese Fenech
Narrated by: Simon Hester
Length: 21 hrs and 54 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely captivating!

Edge of me seat. Moved to tears, laughter, anger and contentment. Never a dull moment!

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Immersing, authentic and kept me coming back

Eight Pointed Cross is a marvelous read (listen). Marthese Fenech is masterful in the way she truly transports you from reading a story to experiencing the story. Her descriptions are so deep and encompassing that as the reader you do feel transported to the rocky shores of Malta. The details so rich, that you can see the colors of Istanbul, feel the salty spray of the ocean, experience the joys, sadness and everyday struggles of her characters. Tears, laughter, excitement, happiness, anger, betrayal, fear, everything her characters are living, as the reader, you experience it with them in the attention to detail on display by Marthese. Simon Hester does an incredible job telling her story. The intonations he gives to the characters, and the consistency with which he delivers a 22hr tale is astonishing. He is the perfect voice for such an epic story. He delivers with smooth tone and delivery that draws you immediately in. I can't wait to look for more from both Marthese and Simon.

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Wanted to keep listening!

Trying to find the time to enjoy a book is difficult with a busy lifestyle which, is why being able to listen via Audible was perfect for me. I was able to listen on my daily commute, during lunch or at night before bed, but be warned, you will be enticed to keep listening as the book pulls you in to its story and characters. Marthese does an incredible job of describing the landscape and the events, you truly feel you are there right alongside the characters as this story of love, courage, betrayal and strength of family takes hold of you. The subtle humour Marthese includes throughout the book is timed perfectly and with point. Simon Hester does a fantastic job of narrating this book bringing the characters to life with tone and variation. His voice and delivery only add to the emotions Marthese captures with her written words. It would be hard to think of anyone else narrating this story. This book will take you on an emotional roller coaster that will leave you wanting more.

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  • RoxB
  • 2020-05-21

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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  • Nikola Danaylov
  • 2020-04-11

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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  • CMG
  • 2019-11-20

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.