Published: January 22, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Recommended for readers who enjoy action-packed Historical Fiction
To escape a lifetime of poverty, mercenary Sir Benedict Palmer agrees to one final, lucrative job: help King Henry II's knights seize the traitor Archbishop Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. But what begins as a clandestine arrest ends in cold-blooded murder. And when Fitzurse, the knights' ringleader, kidnaps Theodosia, a beautiful young nun who witnessed the crime, Palmer can sit silently by no longer. For not only is Theodosia's virtue at stake, so too is the secret she unknowingly carries--a secret he knows Fitzurse will torture out of her. Now Palmer and Theodosia are on the run, strangers from different worlds forced to rely only on each other as they race to uncover the hidden motive behind Becket's grisly murder--and the shocking truth that could destroy a kingdom.
As I have a degree in Medieval English History, this book was right up my alley. The murder of Thomas Becket is one of those moments upon which history hinges and a story set in its context was incredibly appealing to me. Powell has done a good job streamlining this novel--a lot happen in it and she doesn't leave any loose ends, and she throws in an unexpected plot twist as the book hurdles to its conclusion. Palmer and Theodosia are two very well-drawn characters. Not only are they multi-faceted, but they also evolve as the story goes along.
My only criticism of this book is based solely on my preferences. This is a very plot-driven book, full of action. Unfortunately, I'm more of a fan of a character-driven books. This book was a page turner, but it wore me out a bit. To be fair, it wasn't the book, it was me. I will say, though, that as I read this I kept thinking that this would make an excellent movie--the powers that be in Hollywood should pick up a copy of this book!
All in all, I found this a satisfying read and would recommend it, especially to those who like their books with plenty of action.
This review is part of a blog tour by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are mine, and mine alone. I received no other compensation for this review.