Promise of the Black Monks by Robert E. Hirsch is a first book in the Tristan de Saint Germain saga. Set in the Middle Ages following William the Conqueror’s successful invasion of England, Europe is in the turmoil as nations take shape and the Church.
The story opens with a short narration discussing the events which led to William of Normandy’s invasion of England. On a French estate, Lady Asta de Germain is awaiting the birth of her first child. Tristan is born with a dark omen hanging over him. Seven years later, his father has been executed for treason against King William. Lady Asta, in desperation, sends Tristan and his little brother Guillaume to the Cluny monastery in Burgundy where the Black Monks will educate the boys. Lady Asta, in turns, marries her brother-in-law Lord DuLac and joins him at his new estate in England. Tristan and Guillaume settle into life at the monastery where they are met with hostility from one boy. Tristan excels at his studies and proves himself valuable to the monks. While Lady Asta is living in the middle of the ever present hostilities between the Saxons and the Normans. Will Tristan and his brother ever escape the shadow of their father’s crimes? Will Lady Asta be reunited with her sons? And what impact could one boy have on the course of European history?
I enjoyed Promise of the Black Monks. I enjoyed the in depth historical context that the author presents with the actions of the story. It is an amazing story about a turbulent time in European history which was set on its course with the 1066 invasion. The political, culture and religious upheavals as men set upon their course for power. I plan to get the remaining books in this saga as I want to see the impact Tristan has on the landscape that becomes Europe. If you enjoy historical political drama, this is the book for you. I highly recommend Promise of the Black Monks.
Promise of the Black Monks
is available in paperback for $19.99