Adelia Aguilar is to accompany 10-year-old Princess Joanna on her thousand-mile journey to marry the King of Sicily. They must take with them the legendary sword Excalibur. And so Adelia sets sail with the golden princess and her lavish procession of nobles, musicians, servants, laundresses, grooms, luggage and treasure. But when members of the procession begin to die and it looks as though Adelia is to blame, there are dangerous accusations of witchcraft.
Meanwhile one traveller, armed with a brilliant disguise and a personal vendetta, has been watching Adelia all too closely. He wants Adelia dead…but he wants her to suffer first.
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Compelling historical novel
The 13th century came alive, I have now completed all 4 books, all as good as the first.
Adelia was magnificent
These books do not build up to a scene, they start right at the beginning.
I was emotionally on Adelia's side, her life, loves and struggles were understandably difficult.
So sad that as the author has now died that there will be no further books of this standard
Devastated - No more Adelia...
It's right up there with the best...and the cliffhanger of an ending is made even more poignant now that the author will write no more.
All of the characters are fully fleshed out and Diana Bishop's narration certainly does them justice. I can't pick a favourite - perhaps Rowley? No one is perfect, the author sacrificed perfection for living, breathing, doubting, fallible, joyful characters. They are my friends and I was horribly sad to say goodbye to them.
Having listened to Ms Bishop's narration of 'Katherine' by Anya Seton (one of my all time favourite books) and finding it somewhat dull, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed her characterisation and story-telling in the Mistress of the Art of Death series. It may have been that I had read 'Katherine' so many times that I had a very fixed idea of the book's population and was shocked to realise that these people may be interpreted differently by others! However, coming to this series completely fresh made Ms Bishop's interpretation the blueprint for the characters and now I couldn't imagine them any other way.
The end...the terrible, wonderful, uncertain end. I wept with frustrated hope.
Wonderful books by an author I came to far too late.