The Noble Outlaw (Crowner John Mystery #11) by Bernard Knight

 

Paul Matthews narrates

Description: When Matthew Morcok, a former master saddler, is found mummified above a renovated school, the authorities call on Sir John de Wolfe and coroner’s clerk Thomas de Peyne to stop what is fast becoming a campaign of terror. Later victims include a master glazier, who’s strangled, and a candle maker impaled through the eye. John’s work is complicated by the conflict between his shady brother-in-law, Richard de Revelle, and Nick of the Moor, an outlaw who returned from the Crusades to find his estates expropriated by de Revelle and de Revelle’s cronies. John makes an arduous wintertime journey into Dartmoor to meet Nick, who’s actually a knight, Nicholas de Arundell. Nick’s plight so moves John that he takes the outlaw’s case to England’s Chief Justiciar for resolution.

A good, solid series so long as the episodes are not encountered back-to-back. Knight’s style is rather old-fashioned and brutish, however he does give us an interesting over-arching personal story with Nesta and Matilda.

3* The Tinner’s Corpse (Crowner John Mystery #5)
3* The Grim Reaper (Crowner John Mystery #6)
3* Fear in the Forest (Crowner John Mystery #7)
3* The Witch Hunter (Crowner John Mystery #8)
3* Figure of Hate (Crowner John Mystery #9)
3* The Noble Outlaw (Crowner John Mystery #11)
TR Crowner Royal (Crowner John Mystery, #13)
3* A Plague of Heretics (Crowner John Mystery #14)

The Physician by Noah Gordon

 

Description: In the 11th century, Rob Cole left poor, disease-ridden London to make his way across the land, hustling, juggling, peddling cures to the sick—and discovering the mystical ways of healing. It was on his travels that he found his own very real gift for healing—a gift that urged him on to become a doctor. So all consuming was his dream, that he made the perilous, unheard-of journey to Persia, to its Arab universities where he would undertake a transformation that would shape his destiny forever.

Not an item for the rigid, pedantic historian as there are anachronisms galore. Black Death, for one glaring instance and, wait for it,… the discovery that fleas were the carriers. Yes this is 11th century. Who cares, ’tis romping fun!

That aside it is a fabulous tale fully worthy of an encounter.

Isfahan

Three and a half genie lamps

The Forme of Cury

bookshelves: currently-reading, published-1390, summer-2014, skim-through, food-glorious-food, medieval5c-16c

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: FutureLearn

 

Description: A number of medieval collections of recipes survive. The best known of these in English is The Forme of Cury; ‘Cury’ here comes from the French ‘cuire’ – to cook, and simply means ‘cookery’. Several medieval manuscript versions survive.

John Rylands Library

Project Gutenberg

LOL I don’t have the patience for this!

The Falcons of Fire and Ice

The Falcons of Fire and Ice - Karen Maitland

bookshelves: cover-love, published-2012, summer-2012, historical-fiction, iceland, hardback, paper-read, portugal, roman-catholic, jewish, medieval5c-16c, mythology, ouch, slaves, seven-seas

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Pat
Read from August 27 to September 03, 2012


No dedication
Three front quotes
Cast of Characters

Prologue – gripping, high drama twinned with a prophecy.

Opening of Chapter One:

Anno Domini 1539

The Queen of Spain once had a dream, that a white falcon flew out of the mountains towards her and in its talons it held the flaming ball of the sun and icy sphere of the moon. The queen opened her hand and the falcon dropped the sun and moon into her outstretched palm and she grasped them.

Cheese before bedtime will do that.

I wonder if anyone else felt the auto-da-fé section went on too long?

Some very exciting moments in this story however it is within the similarities of the Iberian Catholics and the Danish Lutherans of the period that gripped me most.

 

On the topmost branch sits an eagle, and perched between the eyes of the eagle is Vedfolnir the falcon, whose piercing gaze sees up into the heavens and down to the earth, and below the earth into the dark caverns of the underworld.” 11 comments

 

Little King Sebastian of Portugal 1564″

 

She was the most beautiful creature who ever lived”

 

Sintra, Portugal”

 


Torre de Belem portugal”

 

He is a Draugr, a Nightstalker.” 3 comments

 

Lucet is a method of cordmaking or braiding which is believed to date back to the Viking era. Lucet cord is square, strong, and slightly springy. It closely resembles knitted I-cord or the cord produced on a knitting spool. Lucet cord is formed by a series of loops, and will therefore unravel if cut.”

 

The doorway to possession = Dyra-dómr of Draugr (approx.)”

 

1 comment

 

Gilitrutt the troll wife”

 

Zaphod Beeblebrox is remembered, lampooned, a dress-up favourite; I have a feeling the characters here won’t pass the test of time in the same way”

 

Ptarmigan”

Solid 3*

5* Company of Liars
5* The Owl Killers
4* The Gallows Curse
3* The Falcons of Fire and Ice
TR Hill of Bones (in bedroom stack)

=====================================================
BOOK BLOG – the lead up:
9/3/2012 email to Karen Maitland:

Hello there Karen,
We* are wondering where we can get our handsies on The White Room, are you planning to re-publish now you are garnering such prestige?

* Goodread readers Bettie and Pat

Thanks in anticipation.

……………………………………..

10/3/2012 email back:

Dear Bettie & Pat,
Thank you for your email. I only wish I was garnering any prestige. But its lovely of you to say so.

No, I’m afraid there are no plans to republish The White Room. It was a a modern story about a British girl being drawn into the fringes of terrorism. At the time it was written no Middle Eastern Terrorist acts had been carried out in England, but events have now sadly overtaken fiction. It was based on events I experienced in Belfast and Nigeria, so was in a sense a piece of cathartic fiction I had to get out of my system before I could write anything else.

I’m in the process of getting a new website (going live next Thursday I hope) and I will drop the mention of the book on the new website, as it isn’t available, apart from the occasional 2nd hand copy popping up from time to time on Amazon etc.

Sorry, I can’t be more help, but thank you so such for getting in touch and happy reading!
warmest wishes,
Karen

……………………………….

Karen Maitland with a side order of Iceland is my only weakness (hah) – jeeeepers this is going to be good. Now I know of this it will seem like a l-o-n-g drag until the autumn.

More recent history: The Order of the Falcon or Hin íslenska fálkaorða is a national Order of Iceland, established on July 3, 1921 by King Christian X of Denmark and Iceland.

The Order has five classes:
Keðja með stórkrossstjörnu or Collar with Grand Cross, only for heads of state
Stórkrossriddari or Knight Grand Cross
Stórriddari með stjörnu or Grand Knight with Star
Stórriddari or Grand Knight
Riddari or Knight

DAY OF PUBLICATION 16/8/2012: You know how I swore that there would be no new books bought because of our boracic straits after crawling over northern europe like a cheap suit – I lied.

I lied to myself and to you.

Just pressed the ‘place order’ button. I can’t be trusted.

23/8/2012: Still not here!

 

In the Greenwood by Mari Ness

bookshelves: spring-2014, shortstory-shortstories-novellas, published-2013, e-book, forest, debut, medieval5c-16c, historical-fiction, mythology, newtome-author, lifestyles-deathstyles

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Nataliya
Read on May 18, 2014

 

Tor.com blogger, fantasy writer, and insatiable reader Mari Ness makes her Tor.com short fiction debut with a beautifully told tale of complicated and conflicted love, a translation and transformation of a very old story that is sure to be familiar to every fan of folklore and history.

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by editor Liz Gorinsky.

Opening: Afterwards, neither could agree on where they’d first met, or when. She thought she’d been six; he said four. Both agreed he’d been older than she, although how much older was something they never discussed, nor tried to figure out, quite deliberately. He’d been infuriating, she remembered. She’d been aggravating, he said. He’d once thrown rocks at her.

I’m late to the show – Tor.com have made a tranche of shorties available for free. This Robin Hood rethink is available here, and seeing how I love short stories as palate-cleansers in between main reads, this is exceptionally lovely of them.

Hey Bezos! not everyone is money-grabbing.

A surprising end to this heart of the forest tale.

Cold Heart, Cruel Hand: A Novel Of Hereward The Wake and The Fen Rebellion of 1070-1071 by Laurence J. Brown, Derek Richardson

bookshelves: published-2004, historical-fiction, conflagration, britain-england, medieval5c-16c, revenge, war, norfolk, paper-read

Read in June, 2009


My cover is unavailable on GR:

Dedication: For Kaye, with love

Front Quote:

Cold heart and cruel hand
Now rule across the land

Anglo-Saxon Chronicles

Opening:

1070
They left York by the Jubber Gate, what remained of it, like thieves in the night. Behind them smoke from the blackened timbers of the burning City billowed skywards, choking the night air, obscuring the moon, covering their escape.

[..]the fens, a stinking wilderness of sky and mud. It was rumoured that the fen dwellers had webbed feet, that nature had intervened to prevent them sinking into the endless marshland.

Sweyn II Estridson (Svend Estridsen) April 28, 1074

A great fictional read about a very obscure part of English medieval history, although a proof reader would not have gone amiss and the book length may have been reduced by, say, four pages if all the modern curses had been taken away. But I loved it, all those ‘bloody’ villains – and what about the coracle action to set the bridge aflame.

Yes, loves me some neat coracle action.

Seeing that history can never be construed as a spoiler, I will add that Hereward ultimately loses the battle to keep the Isle of Ely out of The Conqueror’s hands.

3.5* upped to 4* for a great hero.

The Vikings by Else Roesdahl

bookshelves: under-500-ratings, translation, published-1987, medieval5c-16c, nonfiction, paper-read, history, spring-2013

Read from May 06 to 09, 2013

 

Opening: The Viking Age is shot through with the spirit of adventure. For 300 years, from just before AD800 until well into the eleventh century, Scandinavians from the modern countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden played a decisive role in many parts of Europe.

the noun vik means ‘bay’ in English. So to go a-viking meant skulking in and out of bays (once the open sea voyage was over, natch)

It’s got to be done:

clickerty click on the kitty

Lots of facts not necessarily displayed to best advantage and the utilitarian style got the job done. Yet where was the zest?

Holy Fool by Peter Roberts

bookshelves: published-2011, spring-2014, historical-fiction, play-dramatisation, medieval5c-16c

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Laura
Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from May 11 to 12, 2014


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b014gj3c

Description: Chivalrous or just crazy? The story of William the Marshall with a real-life Don Quixote and his cohort. Stars Michael Williams.

Wiki: Sir William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1147 – 14 May 1219), also called William the Marshal (Norman French: Guillaume le maréchal), was an English (or Anglo-Norman) soldier and statesman. Stephen Langton eulogized him as the “best knight that ever lived.” He served four kings – Henry II, Richard the Lionheart, John, and Henry III – and rose from obscurity to become a regent of England for the last of the four, and so one of the most powerful men in Europe. Before him, the hereditary title of “Marshal” designated head of household security for the king of England; by the time he died, people throughout Europe (not just England) referred to him simply as “the Marshal”. He received the title of “1st Earl of Pembroke” through marriage during the second creation of the Pembroke Earldom.

The Holy Thief (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #19) by Ellis Peters

bookshelves: published-1992, film-only, spring-2014, shropshire, series, historical-fiction, tbr-busting-2014, medieval5c-16c, war, mystery-thriller

Read from July 28, 2013 to May 07, 2014

 

Description: The 19th chronicle of Brother Cadfael. In the chill autumn of 1144, rising flood waters endanger the sacred remains of St. Winifred, the abbey’s most cherished possession. When the bones disappear and a corpse is found, Brother Cadfael needs his prayers answered to catch a killer.

This is the last one of Brother Cadfael that I have in the stores and I take this opportunity to say what a cracking series it has been. Set in the time of civil war, Stephen against Maud.

3* #1 A Morbid Taste for Bones
3* #2 One Corpse Too Many
3* #3 Monk’s Hood
3* #4 St Peter’s Fair
3* #5 Leper of St. Giles
4* #6 The Virgin in the Ice
3* #7 The Sanctuary Sparrow
4* #8 The Devil’s Novice
3* #9 Dead Man’s Ransom
3* #12 The Raven in the Forecourt
3* #13 The Rose Rent
3* #18 Summer of the Danes
4* #19 The Holy Thief
4* The Potters Field
3* The Pilgrim of hate

2* Flight of a Witch

2* Light on the Road to Woodstock

WL A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury

5* Sunrise in the West
TR The Dragon at Noonday
TR The Hounds at Sunset
TR Afterglow and Nightfall

The Lily and The Lion

bookshelves: published-1959, spring-2014, historical-fiction, france, film-only, medieval5c-16c, medical-eew

Read on May 04, 2014

 

Description from Netflix: This is the series that inspired George R.R. Martin to write A Game of Thrones. Translated from the orginal French.

“This is historical fiction based on, and starting with, the final years of the 14th century Philip The Fair of France. He is famous to this day for crushing the rich and powerful Knights Templars in a well-coordinated attack on Friday 13 1307 (this is why we consider Friday 13th to be ill-omened and unlucky). By brutally murdering the Knights Templars, Phillip The Fair gained both their considerable power and enormous wealth. As the Grand Master of the Knights Templars, Jacques de Molay, was burnt to death, he cursed the king and his future generations:

“Accursed! Accursed! You shall be accursed to the thirteenth generation!”

Thus providing the title for this series of books: The Accursed Kings.” – Imperator11

The novels take place during the reigns of the last five Direct Capetian kings and the first two Valois kings, from Philip the Fair to John II. The plot revolves around the attempts of Robert of Artois to reclaim the county of Artois from his aunt Mahaut.

Prologue, The Iron King:

AT the beginning of the fourteenth century, Philip IV, a king of legendary personal beauty, reigned over France as absolute master. He had defeated the warrior pride of the great barons, the rebellious Flemings, the English in Aquitaine, and even the Papacy which he had proceeded to install at Avignon. Parliaments obeyed his orders and councils were in his pay.He had three adult sons to ensure his line.

His daughter was married to King Edward II of England. He numbered six other kings among his vassals, and the web of his alliances extended as far as Russia.He left no source of wealth untapped. He had in turn taxed the riches of the Church, despoiled the Jews, and made extortionate demands from the community of Lombard bankers. To meet the needs of the Treasury he debased the coinage. From day to day the gold piece weighed less and was worth more. Taxes were crushing: the police multiplied. Economic crises led to ruin and famine which, in turn, caused uprisings which were bloodily put down. Rioting ended upon the forks of the gibbet.

Everyone must accept the royal authority and obey it or be broken by it. This, cruel and dispassionate prince was concerned with the ideal of the nation. Under his reign France was great and the French wretched. One power alone had dared stand up to him: the Sovereign Order of the Knights Templar. This huge organisation, at once military, religious and commercial, had acquired its fame and its wealth from the Crusades. Philip the Fair was concerned at the Templars’ independence, while their immense wealth excited his greed. He brought against them the greatest prosecution in recorded history, since there were nearly fifteen thousand accused. It lasted seven years, and during its course every possible infamy was committed.

What is that Chinese curse again? Something like ‘I hope you live in interesting times’. Well these times were remarkably interesting.

Sad to be at the end of this wonderful series even if some of the women rode astride and the sets looked as if they came from an early TV sci-fi series that sold off the props at bargain basement prices.

Robert d’Artois

Edward III

4* The Iron King
4* The Strangled Queen
4* The Poisoned Crown
5* The She-Wolf of France
5* The Lily and the Lion