The Quest for the Crown of Thorns
by Cynthia Ripley Miller
Publication Date: June 12, 2017
Knox Robinson Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 308 Pages
Series: The Long – Hair Saga, Book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
AD 454. Three years after the Roman victory over Attila the Hun at Catalaunum, Arria Felix and Garic the Frank are married and enjoying life on Garic’s farm in northern Gaul (France). Their happy life is interrupted, when a cryptic message arrives from Rome, calling Arria home to her father, the esteemed Senator Felix. At Arria’s insistence, but against Garic’s better judgment, they leave at once.
Upon their arrival at Villa Solis, they are confronted with a brutal murder and the dangerous mission that awaits them. The fate of a profound and sacred object–Christ’s Crown of Thorns–rests in their hands. They must carry the holy relic to the safety of Constantinople, away from a corrupt emperor and old enemies determined to steal it for their own gain.
But an even greater force arises to derail their quest–a secret cult willing to commit any atrocity to capture the Crown of Thorns. And all the while, the gruesome murder and the conspiracy behind it haunt Arria’s thoughts.
Arria and Garic’s marital bonds are tested but forged as they partner together to fulfill one of history’s most challenging missions, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns.
“In this thriller, set in fifth-century Rome, rivals race to possess Christ’s crown of thorns. Ripley Miller (On the Edge of Sunrise 2015) astutely brings to life a Rome teetering precariously on the brink of collapse … The plot advances energetically, and the combination of political and romantic drama—spiritual as well—is rousing. The reader should be glad to have read this volume and eager for a third. Intelligent and artfully crafted historical fiction … Recommended.” -Kirkus Reviews
“From cover to cover a gripping read – in all senses of the word! Grips your interest and imagination, your held breath and your pounding heart! A thumping good novel!” -Helen Hollick USA Today bestselling author of the Sea Witch Voyages
“Forbidden love, a turbulent time period, and world-changing events combine to produce a real page-turner.” -India Edghill, author of Queenmaker, Wisdom’s Daughter, and Delilah.
“A passionate and intriguing take on the often overlooked clash of three brutal and powerful empires: the Romans, Franks, and Huns. A Compelling read!” -Stephanie Thornton, author of The Secret History and The Tiger Queens
“Readers will be absorbed by a setting of barbarian Gaul and the constancy of Arria’s and Garic’s destined love amid the strife of a dying Roman Empire.” -Albert Noyer, author of The Getorius and Arcadia Mysteries
“The Quest for the Crown of Thorns, is an elegant masterpiece of historical fiction. This book totally ensnared me in its clasps, and it did not release me until I had read it all. The attention to detail was exquisite The characterisation was sublime, and the romance was breathtakingly beautiful. I adored the world that Miller has created, as well as the characters in it. This is a sit-down and finish book and is one I would Highly Recommend.” -Mary Anne Yarde author of the Du Lac Chronicles
Cynthia Ripley Miller is a first generation Italian-American writer with a love for history, languages and books. She has lived, worked, and travelled in Europe, Africa, North America and the Caribbean. As a girl, she often wondered what it would be like to journey through time (she still does), yet knew, it could only be through the imagination and words of writers and their stories. Today, she writes to bring the past to life.
She holds two degrees and has taught history and teaches English. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthology Summer Tapestry, at Orchard Press Mysteries.com and The Scriptor. A Chanticleer International Chatelaine Award finalist for her novel, On the Edge of Sunrise, she has reviewed for UNRV Roman History, and blogs at Historical Happenings and Oddities: A Distant Focus
Cynthia has four children and lives with her husband, twin cats, Romulus and Remus, and Jessie, a German Shepherd, in a suburb of Chicago.
On the Edge of Sunrise is the first in the Long-Hair Saga; a series set in late ancient Rome and France and published by Knox Robinson Publishing. The second book in the series, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns, was released in June 2017.
Coffee and Ink’s review:
I read the On the Edge of Sunrise to prep for the review of Quest for the Crown of Thorns, and I’m glad I did. You could read the second book as a standalone, but you’d miss a lot of the adventure and romance and introduction to Garic and Arria’s world of Romans, Franks, and Huns.
The Quest picks up a few years after the first novel, with many of the same characters and a few new ones to kick off the next adventure. Garic and Arria and company are living peacefully at Wild Honey farm when Arria is called by her father back to Rome. A murder and a stolen relic send Garic and Arria to Constantinople.
The novel is a thrilling adventure/romance set roughly twenty-five years before the fall of Rome, and the mix of Christianity and paganism is fascinating. To complicate things even more, the return of antagonists bent on further attempts at destroying Arria and Garic are also on the same quest. Breathtaking in scope and very well written and researched, the author immerses the reader in an exciting and dangerous time in history. Highly recommended!
Blog Tour Schedule
Wednesday, August 14
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Friday, August 16
Review at Hoover Book Reviews
Saturday, August 17
Feature at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 1 paperback and 2 eBook copies of The Quest for the Crown of Thorns! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only. Ebooks are available for international entries.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.