The Devil's Crossing by Hana Cole

Chartres, 1212.

Agnes, a successful merchant’s daughter, stands before the court. Falsely accused of heresy, hysterical with fear, she begs the inquisitor…or anyone present, for clemency.

Gui, a cleric, transcribes interrogations for the courts. Unable to look away from the searching eyes of the condemned Agnes, whether by instinct or impulse, reacts, and his fate is sealed.

Inquisitor Bernard de Noegent, merciless and avariciously ambitious; a puppet for the rich. Viciously convicting Agnes to burn, along with his secrets - his schemes are covertly thwarted.

A decade later, Gui and Agnes are living in a small village as a priest and housekeeper, but their forbidden union is not the only thing they have to hide. Etienne, their 11-year-old son, doesn’t know Gui is his father. With the passing of Gui’s mentor, the protection he provided them expires with him, and immediately, their enemies are upon them.

Unaware of any deception, Etienne cedes to his growing restlessness and desire for adventure, and joins a Crusade to the Holy land, chasing glory along with thousands of other unsuspecting children. Desperate to save Etienne from danger, Gui goes in search of him - not only to return him safely home, but to share what he’s longed to tell him – that he is his father.

Hearing that Agnes has been left behind and having waited for his time of power, Inquisitor Bernard de Noegent plots a ruthless pursuit of the guiltless pair. Paying off villains and enlisting the services of corrupt law officials, he stops at nothing to ensure the silence of his sinful deeds.

Spanning the Medieval provincial quiet of shepherding in France to the sun-baked heat of Cairo’s child-slave trade markets, The Devil’s Crossing is extraordinarily scripted, researched soundly and delivered with impeccable imagery, engaging characters, and intriguing storylines.

Hana Cole has perfectly recreated humanity’s corruption and debasement of the era and with skillful tact, depicts the brutal abduction and trafficking of innocent children for child slavery.

Already one of my favorite reads of 2021, The Devil’s Crossing is an absolute must-read for any historical fiction reader.

Thanks to author Hana Cole and Sharpe Books for the read of Hana Cole’s, The Devil’s Crossing.