Eight Pointed Cross

Eight Pointed Cross

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640 pages
840 gr.

The violent clash between the Ottoman Empire and the Knights of St John on the island fortress of Malta serves as the backdrop to Eight-Pointed Cross. Young siblings Domenicus and Katrina Montesa live under constant threat of raids by the Ottoman Turks, the staunchest enemies of the Christian knights. All the while, hundreds of leagues away in Istanbul, Demir’s dream of becoming an imperial horseman in the Sultan’s cavalry is his only salvation against relentless torment by his cruel brother.

The Turkish invasion of Malta and the island’s bloody defence will forever change the lives of the three protagonists, whose fates are intertwined not only with each other, but with nobles and peasants, knights and corsairs, tyrants and gally slaves, on both sides of the conflict as the novel sweeps across the Mediterranean world of the sixteenth century – from Malta, a barren Christian outpost, to Istanbul, the glittering seat of Islam, from filthy prison cells to lush palace gardens.

Against soaring cliffs and open sea-lanes, the men and women of Eight-Pointed Cross face corruption and oppression, broken vows and betrayal, as two great empires collide. Surviving this battle-soaked world of swords and scimitars will test the limits of every character’s courage, loyalty, and love.



“A truy enjoyable read. Intimately accurate to the period. This book shows a deep level of research and is truly absorbing. Especially pleasant since it shows the common people's experiences and their relationship with their conquerors in the build up to a large scale event which is the Great Seige of Malta! I find myself eagerly waiting for a sequel!! Well Done.”

Franco Davies


“The author’s exquisite writing is absolutely captivating from start to finish. I simply cannot wait until Marthese pens her next masterpiece because this story truly stole my heart away! Eight Pointed Cross is an extraordinary book so be sure to check it out - you won’t be disappointed!”

 Julie Danaylov 


"Crystal-clear descriptive language … Ms Fenech has recreated the compelling world of the Montesa family of Malta and the Knights of St John as though she time-travelled back to the sixteenth century to do her research. An impressive debut!”

Karen Connelly, author of The Lizard Cage

"I believed every minute of it."

Carol Rasmussen, former book review editor at Library Journal

"Eight Pointed Cross has all the ingredients that I consider important in a novel: a gripping plot, engaging, believable characters, stunning description, violence, love, sex, remarkable psychological insight, historical detail… The first English literary critic, Sir Phillip Sidney, wrote that the purpose of literature was to teach and to delight. I learned much from Eight Pointed Cross. And the internal struggles of characters such as Augustine and Franco lend depth and substance to the characterization. A more recent literary giant, William Faulkner, in his speech upon receiving the Nobel Prize for literature in 1950, opined that the only thing worth writing about is the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself. You, Ms. Fenech, have passed both of these tests with flying colours."

John Heighton, reader for the Porcupine's Quill

Visit the author's website http://www.marthesefenech.com or follow her on alt.


+2 #15 Aldo M 2013-06-27 07:45
Each author yearns to create the perfect sentence; a sentence which leaves the reader with a tingle at the nape of the neck. Marthese Fenech has created a moving brilliant epic full of perfect sentences. Sentences so perfect that I paused at times and reread them over and over because I was so enthralled by the eloquent beauty of her pros. The last book I read which gave me the same level of satisfaction was Steinbeck's East of Eden. This book is that good.
Miss Fenech has a very bright future and hopefully a number of fine stories to share. She is truly a gifted storyteller. I cannot wait for the sequel.
+3 #14 Larry Anastasi 2013-03-08 08:23
I thoroughly enjoyed Eight Pointed Cross, now I need to know the rest of the saga in your sequel. I can't wait. I couldn't put your novel down, you did a marvelous job. I have read so many other books taking place during the Great Siege such as Ironfire by Davis Ball who you mentioned was a great help with your book and I have to say you are in this same level of authors for the lack of a better word.
I really liked your timeline since it was an earlier time than the Great Siege which demonstrated the hard lives lead by the Maltese people for years and years long before May 1565 and how life on Malta and Gozo was a day to day struggle and what it was like under the knights rule . I was aware that on one occasion the whole population of Gozo was taken by the Ottoman , your chapters on this event gave it more relevance and reality on how terrible it must have been for the Gozotain families. I ended up finishing The Eight Pointed Cross well before my holiday in Malta ended since I had it open every opportunity I had.
After reading your work I have to say that you are a very unique individual, I could never imagine how you came up with that story line let alone manage to put all the descriptions and intrigue down on paper. I am fascinated by your work. I am now eagerly waiting for your second installment. I have to know more.
+2 #13 Louise Tanti 2013-01-16 12:47
For most Maltese people, the great siege of Malta, with the battles of the Knights of St. John and the Ottomans, is nothing new, so I was a bit doubtful about buying this book at first, but the way the clever Marthese Fenech combined the history, love tangles, plots, culture and religion, without making it just another history book, is a wonderful read, flowing and entertaining!!!!
Plus loads of Maltese expressions still used today, which made me laugh to see them written in an English book, a first for me, so a joy to read from the first page to the last.
This is the first book that I did not mind rereading again just as I finished it!!! And believe me when I tell you that I have read thousands of books in my lifetime. Eight Pointed Cross is so entertaining with so many twists and turns, so much to scrutinize and discover that a second read will only give more joy!
It also makes one proud to be Maltese and remember some of what our little islands has been through.
Marthese's years of great research certainly show!!!! Plus she and her family are a joy to know, so friendly and nice. Was so glad that I went to her book signing in Valletta and meet them all in person!!!
Can’t wait for the sequel to come out!!! If the plots and love consequences keep getting more complicated and entertaining, I am sure that one sequel is not going to be enough and there will be a whole series of these books on the way, if I can predict the future, or is it wishful thinking on my part and on all of Marthese Fenech’s fans??? Only Marthese and BDL can answer that, still I am keeping my fingers crossed!
This is definitely a writer to watch out for. All those who pass this book by, will lose on some of the world's greatest joys in life!!!!
+2 #12 Marthese Fenech 2012-11-19 02:22
Hello everyone,
I am the author of Eight Pointed Cross, and I am so very touched by your kind words and generous praise of my novel, that I wanted to write and thank each and every one of you for your support. I am eternally grateful. And, I promise that I am hard at work on the sequel!
Many thanks,
+2 #11 Daniel Aquilina 2012-11-15 06:34
I just loved it ..especially the closing chapters. I do hope the story continues as its so intriguing, One of the best Great Siege/ Knights of St.John based books I have read. :-)
+3 #10 Christine Mifsud 2012-08-28 01:21
Loved this book Marthese. My world came to a complete stop until this book was finished. The story is gripping, fascinating and takes me back to childhood stories about the stories of the knights and Turks. There is room for a sequel, so I am looking forward.....

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