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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Way of Glory is a work of historical fiction penned by author Patricia Boomsma. Set during the latter European crusades of the twelfth century, we meet our central character Cate when she is in her teenage years. Accompanying her family on a crusade which results in a successful battle with the Moors, Cate settles in Hispania with full belief in the righteousness of the Holy War. She falls in love with a soldier, but Cate’s heart is pulled in more than one direction when she finds a connection with one of the conquered Moors of the land. What follows is a terrifying reality where Cate discovers the inhumanity of what had once seemed ‘holy’, struggling with her own faith and the beliefs of those around her.
Author Patricia Boomsma creates a superbly powerful tale as the story of Cate’s travels and settlement unwinds. I have never read a more mature or powerful fourteen-year-old protagonist, even in historical fiction, and the way Cate faces up to her realities and explores her faith had a real Joan of Arc atmosphere to it in terms of her strength. The racial tensions of the tale are far from simple, considered from all sides, and written with a modern mindset alongside the historical accuracy. The research is not heavily laid into the tale, but is evident from the little details that really make it come to life on every page. Overall, I’d highly recommend The Way of Glory not just for historical fiction fans, but for fans of personal drama and racial drama everywhere.