Epiphany, 1193. Eleanor of Aquitaine sits upon England's throne. Her beloved son Richard Lionheart is missing, presumed dead - and the court whispers that her younger son, John, is plotting to seize the crown. Meanwhile, on the snowy highroad from Winchester, a destitute young man falls heir to a blood stained letter, pressed into his hand by a dying man. The missive becomes Justin de Quincy's passport into the queen's confidence - and into the heart of danger, as he pursues a cunning murderer and jousts with secret traitors in Eleanor's court of intrigue and mystery . . .I've wanted to read Sharon Kay Penman's historical fiction for a while (especially because I just love the idea of reading a book called Here Be Dragons). But I've always been a little too intimidated to dive in. When I found The Queen's Man at a used bookstore, I thought it would be a good entry into her writing and I was right. Unlike Penman's best known books, which are long (The Sunne In Splendour is 900+ pages) and cover a lot of ground, The Queen's Man is a lighter read and would be good for all medieval and mystery fans, including young adult readers. It is very well-written, filled with rich details and characters that bring the quickly-paced story to life. I will definitely be looking for the sequel, Cruel as the Grave, and will move Penman's other books up on my To Be Read list.
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