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Back in 2005 author Cynthia Vespia published The Crescent via self publishing and now in 2014 not only is the book being re-released but it is being made into a film. Ms. Vespia has written a total of nine novels and somewhat ironically, it is the first of her works that has been optioned to become a film and is currently in preproduction.
The Crescent is a story of two different women. One is married to the most powerful man in the country, the other has been wrenched from her home and people. Queen Liza is not of royal blood but she lives a protected, and to her, boring life. Her time in the castle is uneventful and it is driving her mad.
Nadja is a slave girl whose home was pillaged by the vikings. Most of her neighbours in the small village are dead, killed by the raiders who struck at her home time after time. The victors take her captive to be sold at auction to the highest bidder.
Eventually the two women’s paths cross but first, each must take a journey of discovery. Nadja and the queen learn of their strengths and weaknesses. Both learn the intricacies of battle and by the book’s end will will reach their separate destinies.
The beginning of the book sees Nadja being transported as a prisoner. Years before her father smuggled her out of Russia and she wound up in Surbiton. Working as a servant in a household, the woman has no social standing and little understanding of the local language.
Cynthia Vespia has written a historical novel full of action, romance and a pace that keeps the reader turning the pages until the book is finished. Her characters are strong, not just physically, but mentally. The women are more than stereotypical visions of long ago and it is no surprise that The Crescent is being made into a film.
Both of her protagonists, the two women on opposite ends of the social scale, are different, but very much the same. Their connection is the sign of the crescent and all that it means.
The story is not just about these two strong willed women, but about the lives that each lead. The queen’s husband struggles to keep his kingdom happy while his brother tries to undermine the king’s hold over his country. Nadja meets a man who teaches her to fight and to love.
The author has a definite knack for putting together action sequences that deal with hand to hand combat. Each time one of the story’s main character’s have to fight the scenario has a ring of truth to it. No overblown “made up” hero moves here, just fast vicious life saving action.
The fact that the story is focused on two women who must face combat regularly may have something to do with the decision to make the book into a film, but it is doubtful. The main reason is most likely that the book contains scenes and a story that will translate well to the screen.
The Crescent by Cynthia Vespia is one heck of a good read and one book that the reader will not want to put down until they finish it. It is being made into a film which is currently in pre-production. Cynthia will be involved in every step of the process and this will, no doubt, help to make the film just as entertaining as its source material.
By Michael Smith
The Crescent: Victory Over Adversity