Monday, April 22, 2013

The Fifth Knight by E.M. Powell

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Read: April 21, 2013

When mercenary Sir Benedict Palmer agrees to help King Henry II’s knights seize the traitor Archbishop Thomas Becket, 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. He and Theodosia rely only on each other as they race to uncover the motive behind Becket’s murder—and the truth that could destroy a kingdom.

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Canterbury Cathedral, stained glass- ancient panel
showing the Murder of St Thomas Becket
E.M. Powell's The Fifth Knight is the kind of book that takes hold and refuses to let you go. You take it to bed thinking you'll read a chapter or so before you call it a night and 150 pages later  your spouse rolls over and threatens your life if you don't turn off the light... okay not my life exactly but he threatened my book which is close enough.

It really isn't all that surprising when you think about it, the nature of the book that is, as The Fifth Knight was originally published as a kindle serial. Not that you can necessarily tell where one episode ends and the next begins, but throughout the book, Powell exhibits a particular aptitude for building dramatic tension and giving her readers just enough resolution to leave them wanting more.

In terms of characters, I'm hard pressed to choose between Palmer and Theodosia. I greatly enjoyed watching Palmer's motivations shift as he struggled with his principles, but I also appreciated what Powell did with his companion. I'm used to seeing nuns written in somber, reverent tones, but Theodosia is passionately devoted and genuinely earnest. Seeing that kind of spunk in someone destined to live a life of service within the Church was refreshing to say the least.

Ideally I might have liked more historic detail, Powell plays fast and loose with the particulars where I would have appreciated more clarity, but all in all The Fifth Knight is a cleverly written medieval mystery that engages readers from the first page to the last. 

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"Here I am. No traitor, but archbishop and priest of God."
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Tuesday, 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

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