Books #39-40: "The Daisy and the Bear" by K.L Clark; "Vagabond" by Bernard Cornwell
England, and the War of the roses is about to break.
Margaret of Anjou is the young and beautiful queen of England, married to the Lancastrian Henry VI.
Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick is the nephew and advisor to the Yorkist contender for the throne, Richard Plantagenet.
What future do they face? Can their love prevail? And what secrets does the queen hide?
This brilliant story comes in paperback but I read it online, as any who's been reading too much historical fiction lately should.
The author takes all the clichés modern HF writers use in describing the participants of the WotR and takes the piss out of them in the most awesome way, with a special mention to Elizabeth Woodville, queen and witch and the frail and angelic® Richard or Dickon.
In this second installment of The Grail Quest, Thomas of Hookton is back in England, facing a horde of murderous Scots, a fanatic priest and some truths about his father. He goes back to his ruined village to find an old clay cup, which he immediately discards as unimportant (wink wink) and a book written by his father, containing stories about the Grail. Some of the writings are in old Hebrew, but luckily Thomas has a Jewish friend from his time in France. So to France he goes - not for the Grail, offcourse, but to help Sir Guillaume, who is besieged by his own lord in his castle.
In his quest for the Grail but especially for revenge on the priest who's ruined his life Thomas enlist the help of Robbie Douglas, one of the captive murderous Scots, who also has a score to settle with the priest.
I may have liked this book a bit better. There was a lot scheming and intrigue and the Catholic church was presented in all its "glory". Jeanette, Sir Guillaume and Mordechai, my favourites, are back.
'Did you know,' he went on, 'that Flemish sailors claim that you can calm a storm by throwing a Jew overboard?'
'Do they really?'
'So I'm told,' Mordecai said....... 'Do you think the Flemings carry Jews aboard their ships as a precaution? It would seem a sensible, if cruel, thing to do. Why die when a Jew can die?'
The coolest character this time was Robbie, who is completely awesome and utterly Scottish. He's the Scottish Patrick Harper, just like Jeanette is the French Teresa Moreno.
I've decided I don't mind that Cornwell is a one-trick pony. It's like this toy I had - a cartboard cutout of a man and a woman and you have different sets of paper clothes to put on them. Cornwells characters are like that - a set of prototypes he puts different clothes on according to an historical period he writes about at that moment. It was my favourite pass time in childhood and I've decided to enjoy it this time, too - I'll read on the series with pleasure.