In the 3rd century, pampered Roman princess Valeria falls in love with Mauritius, captain of the Theban Legion. She sends him off to battle, where he suffers under the schemes of a notorious pagan general with an ambition for power and a lust for Valeria. In a scene based on true events, the evil Galerius kills Mauritius and his entire legion for their Christian faith. And in a shocking turn of events, the grieving Valeria is forced to become Galerius’ wife against her will. Never has a marriage been set up for such failure. Valeria loathes her new husband, but he seems to undergo a change of heart, adopting a child for her and giving her power and authority, and even love. She struggles with the commitment she knows she must keep, and the love she knows she will never find again.
This is a tough book to talk about. I was so completed riveted throughout the book, but I was also completely depressed. In a book that is almost nothing but sad events, I always like the sadness to be broken up a little bit here and there with something. That something can be romance (there was some but it was all at the beginning), humor, whatever, but Valeria's Cross didn't let up, there was practically no time to catch a breath. It was depressing from almost the beginning and didn't get much happier. So many people died, and I just wasn't ready for all of that. I didn't know that the book was based on actual events, and had I known ahead of time the events of the story, it might have taken the sting out. Usually knowing what's going to happen will ruin a story, but with this one, I would have liked to know. The end felt like a gut punch to me, and not a cool surprise twist kind of way, but in a truly sad I wanna cry my eyes out kind of way. Now all that being said, this book is good! That's why I feel so torn, I found it so depressing, but the events and characters so riveting. I'm still thinking about the book a ton, and I finished it over a week ago. I have read 3 or 4 books since, but my thoughts continue to stray to Valeria. The struggles she went through, and the brave woman she became have just stuck with me. I loved Valeria's strong mother, Prisca, and I even found a soft spot for her sometimes evil, sometimes loving husband Galerius. This book is a doozy, and I highly recommend it if you aren't afraid of a very heavy historical story. 3, Find a Used Book Store
Do you agree with my review? Do you think I'm totally off base? Either way I'd love to hear from you, be sure to leave a comment and tell me how you feel!
***FTC Disclosure: This book was provided by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review, no other compensation was given, all opinions are my own***
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