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Test of Faith

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  185 ratings  ·  47 reviews
July, 1187: Thierry, a Templar knight, is bought by Abdul Basir, an advisor to Saladin, but to what end? In their clash of faiths and contest of wills, they come to show each other mercy, kindness, mutual respect, trust, and desire. But can Abdul ensure the safety of this honorable crusader, or will he have to find the strength and courage to let Thierry go in peace?
ebook, 132 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by eXcessica (first published November 30th 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Stories serve more than one purpose.

They can soothe or inflame; can sink you down into the deeps, or snap sails taut and jerk you up into the stratosphere.

This one... this one hurts. If I were wise, I wouldn't review it until I'd had time to calm down.

But I don't want to feel this way any longer than I have to. I'm in a fury.

Read this. It's beautiful.

Then go stroke a kitten.

You'll need to.
Set in Palestine during the crusades, Test of Faith follows two men who on the surface seem very different. Thierry is a French Templar knight who has been captured on the battlefield and sent to the tent of a man who has paid silver for him. That man is Abdul, a Muslim convert who has bought Thierry in order to rape and humiliate him. Things are not as they seem between the men though, as Abdul gains respect for the knight who refuses to cower in terror before him, and Thierry learns that even ...more

4,5 stars

I had no idea what I picked up. Honestly.
I just needed something ensuring good.
And I knew that Aleks is my undisputed guarantee for a good book.



We're talking about the year 1187. In the book. And yet it feels so UP-TO-DATE, so ACTUAL!

It is so sad and tragic that in the 21th century we still divide our world into two essential parts and that these two parts still have not found the best peaceful way to honour each ot
Note: I have to -just have to- write a more cohesive review for this, but right now I'm drawing a blank and I can't think of anything beautiful or smart.

Random thoughts:

I'm torn between a 4 and a 5 star rating.

The good: great writing, a story that gave us both the historical background about a battle of faiths as well as the battles between the characters and -more importantly- within the characters.
The depth of the characters (especially Abdul) is amazing, considering the length of the stor
Emanuela ~plastic duck~
May 15, 2011 Emanuela ~plastic duck~ rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Emanuela ~plastic duck~ by: L.C. Lavado
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This managed to leave me heartbroken and satisfied at the same time. I don't understand how it's possible, but there it is.
Indie Reviews

Test of Faith by Aleksandr Voinov and Raev Gray is an extremely well-written and emotionally charged novella that leaves the reader breathless.

The story is set against the backdrop of one of the most infamous and bloodiest battles of the interval period between the Second and Third Crusades – the Battle of Hattin – which took place near the city of Tiberius on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. During the Battle the army of Saladin decimated some 20,000 Crusading foot soldiers and 1,000 Te
Elisa Rolle
Test of Faith is only a short story but it’s clear that behind there is a lot of research work done; a work that the reader itself can redo thanks to the appendixes, a useful walkthrough among the early Middle Age custom and religious beliefs, both from the Christian than Muslim point of view. And here is the strength of this story, that the truth doesn’t lie in one or the other side, both of them have reason and ideals.

Thierry is a Templar warrior and monk, who is chosen, after the defeat, as
Oooh... F****!! I loved, loved, loved!!

Where to begin? Knights + crusades + Aleksandr Voinov (Raev Gray, pleased to meet you!): I was eager to read "Test of Faith".

I expected the meeting of two human beings above the clash of beliefs, I hoped for multidimensional characters, love, twists in the story. I got all that and the beginning was very satisfying, and then... BAM!!!
THE story I hadn't seen coming appears and I'm turned upside down because it is such an intensely, painfully beautiful one!
Wow. All I can say right now is wow. I am speechless. I have no idea how to review this book. I'm going to have to ... I don't even know.

I'm just stuck at WOW. My brain is just skipping, trying to find some words, but there's nothing.

Yeah, hopefully - review to follow, although I have no idea where I'm going to find the words.
***Just beautiful and heart breaking***

As expected from my fav author, the story was so intense and consuming, just amazing....

It was a historical story at the time of the crusades on Jerusalem...a time when both sides were fighting under the name of God......

I loved the charachters a lot, they were both honorable, faithful and loyal to their beliefs....I enjoyed reading about them a lot.

The only drawback for me..that there were some historical errors that indicated the stereotypical narrow pros
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I have a love/hate relationship with this story. I loved the debates and musings on faith, and the juggling of ideologies between the two characters. But being the optimistic that I am, I had hoped for a different ending. Alas, it was not to be, but I still recommend it.
Michael Joseph
I'm surprised there aren't more m/m books set in the crusades. It would seem to be fertile ground. "Test of Faith" was quite a refreshing change from the Regency/Victorian setting of most historical romances these days. It doesn't have a happily ever after ending, which is disappointing but true to the characters. There are a couple of reasons I didn't give it four stars:

The point of view flip-flops between the two protagonists - Abdul and Thierry. This is hard to pull off, although I'd say it w
eh ..... that was my initial reaction when finishing this book. (view spoiler)

In it's favor, it was well written and if you are into more of a psychological character study, this was successful. This may sound a bit weird, but since it is a short story I was expecting a quick instant gratification read that had a bit of angst in the "opposites attract / enemies to lovers" theme that Voinov is just so good at
The story of Thierry, a Templar Knight, and Abdul, a to Islam converted French, touched me from the first word to the last. Thierry, captured by the Saracens and now owned by Abdul, fears for his life and Abdul is looking for someone to fulfill a desire. When you read this book, you feel how the relationship of the characters change from sworn enemies into two men who respect and honor each other and in other circumstances could have loved each other.
This is a real heartbreaking story with inte
This story gripped me from the start, I felt immediately drawn into Thierry's pain of capture. But I can't expect less from Aleksandr Voinov's writing. From the moment I opened the box to view the rich warmth of colors on the cover to when I closed the book I was happy. Test of Faith is such a great title as it clearly defines what you are about to experience. I loved it. The only complaint is that it was too short. I hold back a star for leaving me underfed - I am waiting for that full meal tha ...more
A very intense, but also very short story of two men and enemies finding each other in the middle of an epic battle.
The beginning was so intense and captivating, that the relentless end came a bit too soon. It almost felt like an excerpt from a larger work.
This story was a victim of its two authors. Head hopping was rampant.

I don't mind head-hopping too much, generally. I expect it to a certain extent when there are two authors and I just hope the book doesn't read as a rough Role-Playing Game. But this one was bad with it, having the POV switch with almost every paragraph, with no line break or anything to indicate the POV was switching. When the only two characters in the book are both "he" this got to be a horrible chore to read. I had to keep
Sep 18, 2013 Wyckedone rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: mm-fiction
Hmmm...I liked this one, but, I didn't love this one. Before I even read it, I knew it would be worth the read for three reasons: Voinov, history, and religion. Not taking anything away from Raev (hello to you & congrats on your first published!!!), but, I love Voinov. I could spend a couple of weeks digging around in his brain; his writing makes me think he would just be so interesting! Then, history and religion are two of my passions--give me ten minutes with a stranger and I'll have him ...more
Crys Harris
"...a great secret that only his flesh knew..."
This quote, and the surrounding words, stood out as one of the most perfect descriptions of sex I've ever read.

I won't spend time talking about the high quality of Aleksandr Voiniv's writing. I will only say that his ability to write emotions and internal conflict grabs me in the gut in a way that makes me both awestruck and uncomfortable. I am very much an 'in the head' person. Most authors tell us how a character is feeling. Aleksandr helps us lis

This story would have gotten 4 stars if not for the POV switching, which - especially at the beginning - was quite noticeable (I'm talking of the print edition). Well researched and well written, realistic, original, it's a pity that it wasn't a tad longer. Warning:(view spoiler).
Originally read 9/Sep/2012
4.5 Stars

A well-written short that depicts - literally - the enemies-to-lovers trope. The history is well researched; the characters are nuanced and deep; the relationship, short as it may be, is, at times, contentious but always passionate. Deeply moving. Highly recommended!

22/Nov/2014 (Re-read for the 2014 Re-Romancing Favorites Challenge) - Re-read because sometimes fluff just isn't enough.
A compelling, moody read. I was literally holding my breath at the tense initial encounter between Thierry, the captured Templar Knight and his keeper, Abdul, one of his sworn enemy. The dynamics between these two complex characters is played out in a beautiful, heart-breaking story.

I also really enjoyed reading the essays on the Crusades and other topics related to the story (and the map, love maps!) at the end of the book.
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