Monday, September 21, 2009

Serpent in the Thorn-Jeri Westerson

Serpent in the Thorn
Jeri Westerson
Minotaur, Sep 29 2009, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312534981

Disgraced former English knight Crispin Guest lost everything he cherished when his support for Prince John left him caught up in a plot against King Richard. He knows he is fortunate to live though in squalid conditions. Instead of wallowing, he reinvents himself from knight errant to mercenary Tracker and finder (see VEIL OF LIES). He conducts investigations for a fee.

In 1384 at the King's Head Inn in Southwark, Grayce asks Guest to help her. She claims the corpse of a man she killed is inside her room. Guest and his apprentice Reader the ragamuffin pickpocket quickly learn the victim was a French courier with a gift of the legendary Crown of Thorns for the Lionhearted. The Tracker and the Reader, assisted by Grayce’s lovely sister Livith, immediately are caught up with murderous royal politics, which the last time this happened he became a disgraced knight.

SERPENT IN THE THORN is an interesting medieval mystery starring a former knight who fell from grace to become the abject object of people asking where he is now. The relationship between the Tracker and the Reader has become more of a caring big and younger brother relationship which enhances the exciting story line. Although the latter part of the tale requires the audience to ignore credibility, fans will enjoy the fallen knight’s late fourteenth century escapades.

Harriet Klausner

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