Island of Gold
(Sea and Stone Chronicles)
By Amy Maroney
1454. A noble French falconer. A spirited merchant’s daughter. And a fateful decision that changes their destiny forever.
When Cédric is recruited by the Knights Hospitaller to the Greek island of Rhodes, his wife Sophie jumps at the chance to improve their fortunes. After a harrowing journey to Rhodes, Cédric plunges into the world of the knights—while Sophie is tempted by the endless riches that flow into the bustling harbor. But their dazzling new home has a dark side.
Slaves toil endlessly to fortify the city walls, and rumors of a coming attack by the Ottoman Turks swirl in the streets. Desperate to gain favor with the knights and secure his position, Cédric navigates a treacherous world of shadowy alliances. Meanwhile, Sophie secretly engineers a bold plan to keep their children safe. As the trust between them frays, enemies close in—and when disaster strikes the island, the dangers of their new world become terrifyingly real.
With this richly-told story of adventure, treachery, and the redeeming power of love, Amy Maroney brings a mesmerizing and forgotten world to vivid life.
I want to see a show of hands - how many of you know who the Knights Hospitaller were? Is that a nervous cough up in the Gods? It is a subject that is often overlooked in historical fiction, so when I was asked if I would like to read Island of Gold (Sea and Stone Chronicles) by Amy Maroney my response was, "give me! give me! give me!"
Islands of Gold is good and I mean unputdownable good. An earthquake could have struck and you wouldn't have been able to pull me away from this book - well, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but I most certainly would have taken this book with me!
So, this novel is about Cédric, who unfortunately is the third son and has to make his own way in the world, and so he does. He becomes a master falconer, yes, that really was a thing, which involves looking after and training the birds, and trudging around the countryside, well the markets, which involves a lot of ports, to find the perfect specism. Of course, buying the birds is only part of the problem, the other part is getting them home safely without losing them and your life to the bandits who are quite happy to deprive you of your valuables and your life, so being handy with a sword whilst being a master falconer can come in useful. Thankfully, for Cédric, he is - handy with a sword and the birds.
Cédric life is going rather well, and then he meets Sophie - the beautiful and rather spoilt daughter of a wealthy merchant. Sophie is one of those characters who seemingly lights up a room when she enters. Everyone is drawn to her, especially Cédric, who decides most definitely that he would like her to be his wife. I felt a moment of dread when he asks for her hand because I really feared she was going to act the spoilt princess, but she doesn't, well, she has her moments, but for the most part, she is a really lovely woman who adores her husband and her children. Then, in a compelling plot twist, I begin to fear for her safety, because when the opportunity to travel to Rhodes presents itself, what started out as an unmissable opportunity becomes something rather more sinister. Shh! That's enough spoilers from me!
Islands of Gold is one of my favourite reads of 2021 so far. Do yourself a favour, grab a copy of this book. You won't be disappointed.
This novel is available on #KindleUnlimited