The Painted Cross
A sweeping saga spanning decades. The hunt for a treasure worth millions. Part mystery, part history, Dennis’s The Painted Cross continues the epic of The Crimson Heirlooms.
The main focus is shifted from Xavier to Estelle and Guillaume in the 18th century, while Jake continues his hunt for the Heirlooms in the 19th century. Estelle had previously been struck by Xavier’s carriage. She’s brought to the Mellieur to be tended, where it is revealed that she possesses the long-lost Traversier heirloom. The Cross of Nantes has come home. Meanwhile, Jake journeys to Haiti as the next leg of his search. All the while, he’s plotting to fake his death so he can shake both sets of pursuers. His goal is to return home and see if he can learn his family’s connection (if any) to the fabled Cross of Nantes.
Each character deepens and grows over the course of the story. I’ve been most impressed with Guillaume’s growth. In the previous book, he came across as a sulky, ill-tempered teen. Granted, he didn’t have the greatest of role-models. He still has a temper, but he’s maturing. He wants to be a writer, a playwright actually, which I can respect. He can channel his fire in a creative way. His time in Grenoble has earned him the nickname of Beau Brave — ‘beautiful brave one’. Estelle… poor Estelle, who had seemed the more mature one, becomes entwined in Xavier’s life. In doing so, she begins a slow self-destruction. Xavier is still my favorite, but he makes some choices that ended poorly, not just for himself, but others as well.
As with the first book, the reader is treated to explorations of the events and ideas of the time, not just in France/Europe, but Haiti, fledgling America, and other locations. Dennis does a masterful job of bringing history to life. While I enjoyed the action, I absolutely loved the examination of dominant philosophies of the time.
Overall, I found the book well-researched and quite enjoyable. I’m looking forward to reading further books by the author.
|Page Count||511 pages|
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