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Archive for the ‘Medieval mayhem’ Category

Reign (TV series)

Kiss of death – Malcolm Rose

On a school trip to the plague village of Eyam, Seth is moved by the story of how villagers sacrificed their lives to the dreaded Black Death.

Kim and Wes are more interested in what they see at the bottom of the wishing well – money!

But when they snatch the coins they also pick up something they hadn’t bargained for, and as the hideous consequences of their theft catch up with them all, Seth is forced to face a terrifying truth.

Has Eyam’s plague-ridden past resurfaced to seek revenge?

Good Reads

Pagan’s crusade – Catherine Jinks

Wham! So here I am, standing in a sea of dirt, with a big mad Templar lobbing rocks at my head.

Wham! Like some kind of martyr.

Wham! He throws like a catapult

“All right, Pagan, that’s enough.” (I should damn well think so.) “Do you see what your problem is?”

Wait – don’t tell me. You are.

Twelfth century Jerusalem – the time of the Crusades. 16 year old Pagan is assigned to work for Lord Roland, a Templar knight. Set against a background of mounting tension as the Infidels, led by Saladin, close in on the Holy City, Pagan’s Crusade sympathetically traces the relationship between the knight and his squire as Roland emerges as both mentor and friend for the orphaned Pagan.

World without end – Ken Follett

World Without End takes place in the same town of Kingsbridge,

two centuries after the townspeople finished building the exquisite Gothic cathedral that was at the heart of The Pillars of the Earth.

The cathedral and the priory are again at the centre of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge, but this sequel stands on its own.

This time the men and women of an extraordinary cast of characters find themselves at a crossroad of new ideas-about medicine, commerce, architecture, and justice.

In a world where proponents of the old ways fiercely battle those with progressive minds,

the intrigue and tension quickly reach a boiling point against the devastating backdrop of the greatest natural disaster ever to strike the human race-the Black Death.

The pillars of the earth – Ken Follett

The Year is 1123: in an unnamed English town, there is a hanging. The small boys come early and cavort around the scaffold. Soon they are joined by the peasants coming to market, or just to watch, and the townspeople likewise. The people like a good hanging. But the mood is odd: this is not a good hanging. The thief is a stranger, and the crime a poor one: the theft of a jewelled chalice from a monastery “something whose value was so great it that it would be virtually impossible to sell – which was not like stealing a ham or a new knife or a good belt, the loss of which would hurt someone”. It was difficult to hate such a man.
The witnesses who’d sealed his fate were also strangers: a knight, a monk and a priest.
When the time comes when most prisoners would call upon God or scream for their mothers, the prisoner sings a sweet melody about larks and hunters and the power of song.
When the deed is done a young girl falls to her knees and calls out a curse.
Twelve years later: Tom is building a house. He has dreams of building a cathedral. He’d worked on one once. But for now he has a family, and house-building for the gentry is good money. The house is for “Young William” son to Lord Percy Hamleigh and soon to be married to the Lady Aliena, daughter of the Earl of Shiring.
Or not.
The Lady Aliena it turns out has a mind of her own and is absolutely NOT minded to marry the Young William.
No marriage…no need for the house. All work is suspended and Tom, the builder, begins the slow descent into destitution.

Pagan’s vows – Catherine Jinks

Pagan cannot believe that he is actually agreeing to devote his life to God, to accept life in a monastery. This is a lifestyle that he despises, possibly fears, and also one that he fled from when he was a boy.

But Pagan discovers that beneath the veneer of respectability, piety and humility lies a complex tangle made up of lies, deceit and greed. Pagan may not be the most honest person in the world, but this kind of dirty hypocrisy upsets him enough that he will not stop seeking out the truth even when his very life is threatened. It would seem that someone very high up in the monastic hierarchy guides the conspiracy, and Pagan needs to be wary of what he says and does.

Song of the lioness quartet – Tamora Pierce

Alanna of Trebond (disguised as the boy Alan) swaps places with her twin brother Thom to train as a knight in the royal palace. Alanna meets new friends along her journey, including George, the charming and mischievous King of Thieves; the lovable but unkempt scholar Sir Myles of Olau; Gareth “Gary” of Naxen; Raoul of Goldenlake; Princess Thayet of Sarain; Liam the Shang Dragon; and Prince Jonathan of Conte, Alanna’s best friend. She also meets several foes, including Ralon of Malven and Duke Roger of Conte, Jonathan’s charming but sly cousin. Alanna also acquires a new pet—her mysterious black cat Faithful, who, true to his name, keeps her from harm.

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