Sunday, 10 April 2016

Back to the Future - Kindles and the Spanish Armada

The Cross of Santiago by Evie Gaughan

Two couples separated by four centuries are bound by one golden cross….

The Cross of Santiago is a historical fiction / romance novel set mainly in Galway, Ireland. It follows the stories of several characters from 2010 as well as slipping back further in time to the 16th century.
In 2010 we follow the stories of Amanda, a young women who was orphaned as a child and longs to know more about her biological family and Xavier, a Spanish man who has by chance become involved in an around the world yacht race which will finish in Galway.
After having no contact with her biological family following her parents deaths at a young age Amanda out of the blue receives contact from a law firm informing her that her aunt has died and left her a medal in her will. After experiencing flashbacks during a hypnotherapy session it becomes clear that this medal may be even more important than simply being the only remaining connection to her biological family.  
Why does she keep having dreams of drowning? What exactly is the medal and how did her aunt come to have it in her possession? Are her visions representative of her inner emotions or are they memories of a previous life? And more importantly, what does the mysterious Spaniard Xavier have to do with it all?

This was the first book that I read after buying a kindle so it was a whole new experience for me. After being wary of making the switch from real books to an e-reader I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I will keep my thoughts on the actual kindle for another day however.

I really enjoyed The Cross of Santiago. I don't normally read romance novels but this had enough going on with the historical parts and the setting of Galway to entice me in. I found that this was an easy read which kept me turning the pages. I was very glad to get into a story after a run of bad novels (See, there is a reason I have been quiet for a couple of weeks! I've had nothing good to review!). The historical parts based around the Spanish Armada seem particularly well researched and it was interesting to hear the story of the Armada crashing around the coast of Ireland. The characters all feel fleshed out and interesting enough to want to read about and the story doesn't get bogged down by too much history, there is a nice balance. If I was to have one gripe it would be that there are quite a few coincidences which help the stars to align but as somebody who mainly reads thrillers I am more than used to suspending my disbelief so I did get past that and enjoyed the story.

I would rate this as a 4 out of 5 and will get round to reading Evie's other novel soon. I would definitely recommend giving this one a go. It is currently included as part of a kindle unlimited subscription or just 99p to buy for kindle. Don't worry if you only read physical books still, The Cross of Santiago is also available as a paperback for just £7.99.