Author: Mark McPherson
Publication: October 11, 2021 by Brendon Bennett Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction
Find it on: Amazon | Book Depository | iBooks
The year is 1066. Saint Foy’s reliquary is one of the most visited shrines in the empire.
Foy would work miracles for some, but for others… strange curses.
The dangerous relics fall into the hands of Duke William of Normandy (William the Conqueror) and he can’t resist the opportunity to use them as a weapon in one of the greatest battles of the middle ages; the Battle of Hastings.
Is William in control, or is this Foy’s conquest?
11th century CE.
Monastery superiors often dispatched monks to discover new relics to draw in wealthy pilgrims. But cathedrals and abbeys across the empire were filling up with unknown or fake relics, and so pilgrims became fussy and fastidious. Bishops needed a more aggressive approach if they wanted a famous saint in their abbey.
One particularly jealous bishop could stand it no longer and dispatched his most trusted thief.
Posing as a novice monk, the thief joined a rival monastery and waited.
For ten years, the thief remained humble, obedient, gradually gaining the trust of his new superiors until his opportunity finally came. He was granted access to the sacred relics of Saint Foy.
Discovered before he could escape, the thief was left with no choice but to kill. As the thief returned north to his monastery, the relics became heavier with each step. It seems Saint Foy will not forgive.
Before long, the relics were in the hands of a powerful Frankish Duke.
Will Saint Foy lead him to his greatest desire?
Or will he be forever cursed?
I enjoyed this foray into the 11th century CE in Europe because the Middle Ages is not an era I read a lot of historical fiction of but maybe I should look into more titles soon. The only character in the book that I had heard about before was William of Normandy (a.k.a. William the Conqueror) so it was nice to get immerged into it all with this book even though I wasn’t super familiar with the time it was set in.
I would’ve maybe liked a little more character developement but if I look at the story in general it was still pretty good since it’s a debut novel. I did highly enjoy the writing, which is also something that’s very important to me in a book. It was a very well-written story so it makes up a little for the lack in characterization for me.
I’m also a big fan of short chapters because I always need to finish a chapter before putting a book down and this book was perfect for that. The chapters were never too long so it was easy to say oh I’ll just read one more chapter and before I knew it I had finished the book. I really liked that.
Overall, The Conquest of Foy by Mark McPherson was for sure a solid debut novel. I didn’t 100% fell in love with it but it wasn’t a bad read either. It also did take me a little while to fully get into the story but after soldiering on for a bit it was kind of hard to put the book down. It’s the kinda story that you need to get your bearings at first but once you do it’s too exciting to stop reading.
About the author:
The youngest of three hearing children with deaf parents, Mark discovered a love for history and historical fiction in the late-1990s while out for a walk in the English Midlands, stumbling on the location of Richard III’s death in battle in Bosworth.
Returning to Europe in the years following, he researched a medieval world vastly different to our own, but with characters that were much more familiar.
Mark started work on The Conquest of Foy in 2006 while at a tiny Bed & Breakfast in Batheaston, England.
He lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and two teenage children.