- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (24 April 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140250972
- ISBN-13: 978-0140250978
- Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 2.2 x 18.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 395,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Queen's Man Paperback – 24 Apr 1997
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'Energetic and adroitly plotted... Justin is so beguiling, and the action so lively and unpredictable, that readers will cheer Justin's return in further adventures' Publisher's Weekly.
'Masterfully told... Penman's authentic period details, larger-than-life characters, and fast-paced plot add up to great reading for both mystery fans and history buffs.' Booklist. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Sharon Kay Penman is the author of eight critically acclaimed historical novels: The Sunne in Splendour, Here be Dragons, Falls the Shadow, The Reckoning, When Christ and his Saints Slept, Time and Chance, Devil's Brood and Lionheart.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a very exciting depiction of medieval England, with the action moving between London and Winchester. Penman's description of 1190s London is extremely realistic, and the reader can hear its sounds, smell its scents, walk its alleys, taste its street foods. This level of description is any historical novel's hallmark, and 'The Queen's Man' measures up to the best in the field.
The characters are believable and realistic, as are their speech and thought. My particular favourite is the character of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, the mother of the missing King Richard Lionheart. She is every inch the 12th century's pinup and much more.
My only minor quibbles are with marginal historical details. Medieval Englishmen did not bathe if they could help it, did not undress for sleep unless it was very hot, soap was not invented until several centuries later and the infamous wimple was reserved for married and upper-class women. The ideal of female beauty at the time was not a blonde, blue-eyed Saxon maiden but a brunette, dark-eyed Norman lady of rank.
Another quibble is the repeated phrase 'in their world' to describe such features of life as lack of privacy or the lack of personal and property rights for women. Ambrose Bierce's rule of 'show, don't tell' would be better obeyed if these features were unobtrusively demonstrated in the narrative rather then pointed out. Besides, most readers of medieval mystery novels would know of these features from previous reading.
Overall, a great read to measure up to Ellis Peters' best. I cannot wait to read the other two novels in the 'Queen Eleanor' trilogy.
In addition, Justin must decide who he can trust. A beautiful lady in waiting who is not all what she seems,an arrogant under sheriff, and a vicious double spy serve to complicate matters. The search takes Justin to the seedy backstreets of London to track down a ruthless assasin.
The likable hero and several twists and turns in the plot more than make up for rather trite dialogue and Justin has enough unresolved family issues to appeal to the modern reader. Not a bad effort at all !
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When Justin De Quincy chances upon two robbers and their dying victim one frosty morning, it marks the beginning of a great mystery adventure. Read morePublished 4 months ago by J Bannion
Could not put it down , had to have the rest of the books ! Equally gripping!Published 7 months ago by Jane Simpson