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The Queen’s Man February 23, 2005

Posted by batduck in Friends & Family.
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posted Wed, 02/23/05


The Queen’s Man

Sharon Kay Penman

Date: July 5, 2000   —   $6.50   —   Book

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From Publishers Weekly
It’s 1193. In a bleak and bitterly cold England, King Richard, on his way back from the crusades, has been missing for two months, and his ruthless brother John is scheming for the throne. Penman (Here Be Dragons) sets this energetic and adroitly plotted series launch within this historical framework, giving Justin de Quincy, the well-educated but illegitimate son of a bishop, a chance to save England. Justin is too late to aid a goldsmith murdered by thieves, but he does take the wealthy man’s hidden letters to their destination: the Queen mother, Eleanor. Of course, he reads them first and discovers that King Richard, with the connivance of the French king, is being held prisoner in Austria. The Queen appoints Justin as her chief investigator into the goldsmith’s murder, giving him money, carte blanche and dire warnings as to the need for secrecy. Justin, comely, courageous and shrewd, quickly befriends a wide array of sheriffs, doxies and wenches, and flits from palace to alehouse to brothel ferreting out plots and conspiracies. The sounds of swordplay and bodices being ripped are loud and frequent. The accomplished author of historical novels employs some stereotypical characters (if he sneers, he’s a villain) and much clichéd prose (“…her mouth as soft and ripe as Summer strawberries”), yet Justin is so beguiling and, the action so lively and unpredictable, that readers will cheer Justin’s return in further adventures.

From Battysgirl

This is the first time I have ever heard of, much less red Sharon Kay Penman. But I completely enjoyed my time in her world. Justin reminds me of a little MacGyver in the middle of medieval times. The story is fast paced and the plot thickens with the turning of every page. I highly recommend this book to any one who likes historical fiction… In fact I did recommend it to a friend who likes historical fiction, and she had already read them!

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