Review copy provided by the author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
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.
The Fifth Knight by E.M. Powell takes the well-known story of the murder of Thomas Becket and uses it as a jumping off point for another tale, a somewhat different take on events. While it is completely fabricated, it works nicely with the known facts. I was actually quite impressed at how well Powell interweaves the fictions with the historical in this novel.
Palmer, a knight for hire, gets more than he bargained for when he agrees to help Fitzurse and three other knights with a mission he is told was given by the king himself. After the brutal murder of Becket, Palmer finds out there is even more evil planned and he is to play a key part in it. Despite his desire for the huge payoff for this job, he finds himself unable to follow through. This fateful decision, while just and far more noble than what he was signed up for, will lead to danger and even more mysteries that must be solved.
Palmer is a likable and sympathetic hero; I found Theodosia to be likable enough, but I grew weary of her constant berating of Palmer despite the numerous times he rescued her. Also, her misplaced trust in some others really got on my nerves. Although, I have to say there is a really lovely twist that I did see coming, and enjoyed in a twisted kind of way - as in "See what happens when you trust wackos like this??" (I hate it when characters don't listen to my warnings. )There are so many close calls, improbable escapes and a villain that just will not die -- great fun.
The Fifth Knight has everything a reader could want from a novel taking place in 1170 - knights, priests, nuns, a king, intrigue, betrayal, secrets, scandal, villains that you just love to hate, chases, daring escapes - pretty much everything. This was a fun and exciting read and I can highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good adventure tale.
About the AuthorE. M. Powell was born and raised in Ireland, a descendant of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins. At University College, Cork, she discovered a love of Anglo-Saxon and medieval English during her study of literature and geography. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Manchester Irish Writers, the Historical Novel Society, and International Thriller Writers. A reviewer for the Historical Novel Society, she lives today in Manchester, England, with her husband and daughter.
For more information, please visit E.M. Powell’s website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
Virtual Book Tour ScheduleTuesday, April 16
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Wednesday, April 17
Review at Sir Read-a-Lot
Thursday, April 18
Review at Turning the Pages
Friday, April 19
Interview & Giveaway at Sir Read-a-Lot
Monday, April 22
Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, April 23
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!
Wednesday, April 24
Interview & Giveaway at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!
Thursday, April 25
Review at The Lit Bitch
Interview at Bibliophilic Book Blog
Friday, April 26
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection
Monday, April 29
Review at A Book Geek
Tuesday, April 30
Guest Post at Kinx’s Book Nook
Wednesday, May 1
Review & Giveaway at Book Addict Katie
Thursday, May 2
Review & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter
Friday, May 3
Review at The Musings of a Book Junkie
Monday, May 6
Review at Layered Pages
Review at Overflowing Bookshelves
Tuesday, May 7
Review at Raging Bibliomania
Wednesday, May 8
Review at West Metro Mommy
Thursday, May 9
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Friday, May 10
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
I received this book from the author or publisher for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review.