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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
448 pages
Apr 2006
Bethany House Publishers

Mark of the Cross

by Judith Pella

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Expelled from Oxford, Philip de Tollard, the illegitimate son of Lord Hawken, takes a position as groom in the stables of a minor baron and falls in love with the baron’s daughter, Beatrice. Gareth, Philip’s half-brother, is determined to outrank Philip in every way, whether in swordplay, their father’s love, or Beatrice’s heart.

When Lord Hawken dies suddenly, Gareth accuses Philip, who barely manages to escape England with his life. Philip’s quick temper threatens to be the end of him in Paris, until a band of thieves take him in. Still loving Philip, Beatrice agrees to an arranged marriage to a friend of her father’s. Then a rebellion in England places her in Gareth’s power, and she must make an awful choice.

Building slowly, this trying-to-be-an-epic love story pulls readers through significant events in medieval history, including the Crusades. Plot twists are numerous, but suspense lags as the book continues. Detailed characters grasp tenuously at the reader’s sympathy and eventually lose it with unwise choices. An example is the inclusion of some sensuous material, which makes the book inappropriate for teens. Women fascinated with this period of history may want to give it a try. – Katie Hart, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Against a Riveting Backdrop of Court Intrigues and Knights at War.

A Bitter Conflict Rages Between Two Brothers...And a Noblewoman Holds the Key to Their Future

Philip de Tollard, the illegitimate son of a powerful English lord, is sheltered by his father but given no claim to an inheritance. Gareth, the legitimate son, is cruel and abusive to his stepbrother. When their father suddenly dies, Gareth falsely accuses Philip, and he escapes only with his life to begin wandering as a fugitive and mercenary.

Philip and his longtime friend Beatrice have come to love each other, and she awaits his return, fervently hoping circumstances will change. But when she finds herself at the mercy of Gareth, who will stop at nothing to acquire her estate, she strikes a most grievous bargain.

Bitter and angry, Philip devises a dangerous plan for vengeance. But love and hate both have consequences, and he must face the truth that God will not be ignored. A masterful saga of love lost…and found…and a remarkable redemption