I won this book through a Goodreads First Reads contest. Although a bit different from my normal taste these days, I was eager to sink into this historical fiction, a genre I don’t read as often as I’d like. I was not disappointed. The book begins with a seemingly important, though not clearly identified, man on his deathbed, eager to relay a story to a scribe before he passes, taking all his secrets with him. I immediately was reminded of The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant – not for the story line, but the way it is presented. This is a well written tale of secret identities, murder, greed, and the levels one would go to in quest for the throne in twelfth century England. I was drawn in by the relationships between characters, loyalty, love, the bond that comes from fighting for a common goal – and against a common enemy. Definitely enjoyed this book and recommend to anyone who enjoys historical fiction novels, as well as to anyone who is new to the genre.
**The author Ariana Franklin passed away before completing this novel. Her daughter, Samantha Norman, finished the writing and brought it to press. I am sure her mom would be proud of the finished product.