Prince of Darkness
by Sharon Kay Penman
Category: Fiction / Historical
336 pages; ISBN: 0399152563
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Prince of Darkness
Sharon Kay Penman
Putnam, Apr 2005, $24.95, 336 pp.
The ransom for King Richard the Lionhearted is gathered and his mother Eleanor goes to Germany to pay it. Prince John is unhappy with the news; he is more perturbed that Lady Constance of Brittany, the mother of a possible rival as heir to the throne Arthur, possesses a letter that implicates John in a plot to assassinate his royal brother.
John knows the letter is a forgery and through subterfuge he gets Justin de Quincy, the Queen’s man, to come to Paris where he convinces his visitor that Eleanor would want him to prove the document is a fake. During their investigation, Justin and his companion see an ally of the Prince die at the hands of an assassin’s knife. They are charged with murder and brought to Constantine’s manor to linger in her dungeon until they die. By the time they are freed, the killer has vanished, they have no proof and Richard is home believing his younger brother a traitor. Justin reluctantly returns to England pleading the Prince’s case to Eleanor hoping she will see justice occurs by interceding between the brothers.
Fans of Roberta Gellis’ historical novels will definitely want to read Sharon Kay Penman latest medieval thriller PRINCE OF DARKNESS as the story contains a terrific mystery and a great look at the upper class lifestyle especially the royals during the Middle Ages. The hero may not like his assignments, but regardless of how he internally feels he always does his best. Readers will cherish him and hope he finds happiness as he has earned it. As usual Ms. Penman provides a spotlight that shines on a bygone era with an intensity and illumination rarely seen.
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