Book Review

by Judith Koll Healey

Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction
Setting: 1207 France

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In the sequel to The Canterbury Papers, Healey places Princess Alais of France in the center of a clash between the Catholic Church, the Cathars (a rebellious Christian sect) and her brother King Philippe. Healey brilliantly builds the political tension along with a passionate love story. Her female characters, real and fictional, will make the hearts of feminist historical readers sing as they're drawn into each suspenseful, exciting moment.

Alais awaits the day she
can marry her lover, William de
Caen, and allow his ward, Francis
(her real son) to learn of his parentage. But that may have to wait when two monks bearing news from Rome arrive. They ask her brother, the king, to
raise an army to wage war against
the Cathar stronghold in the south
of France.

Philippe relies on his sister's second sight and innate intelligence to guide him and refuses the monks. However, when Francis disappears and St. John's Cup, a sacred relic revered by the Cathars, is stolen from Philippe, Alais
realizes she must do something. Disguised as a man she searches
for Francis, the cup and the means
to stop a war that could destroy her homeland. (MORROW, Jul., 384 pp., $24.99)

Reviewed By: Kathe Robin

Publisher: MORROW

Published: July 2009

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