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4.3 out of 5 stars
27
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 8 September 2017
I found it sometimes difficult to follow because of the Welsh names and the various linked relationships. I found myself wanting to skip parts of the story to find out a good ending of the tale. Perhaps if I reread it then things will become clearer!
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on 25 July 2017
Love all the Owen Archer books!
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VINE VOICEon 16 December 2006
I didn't enjoy this as much as the earlier Owen Archer novels, I think probably because it did not feature the usual York characters and settings. None of the SW Wales characters really grabbed me and this was rather a chore.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 29 November 2004
Spring 1369, Owen Archer, one-time soldier and spy is out recruiting archers for the Duke of Lancaster, but he is also on a mission to find out whether the Duke's own steward is betraying him to the Welsh rebels. Trouble goes before them and a body in the Duke's livery is left at the city gates.
All of Candace Robb's novels have great appeal to those interested in the medieval period and this one is no exception. Owen Archer is a believable hero and the area of York in which he lived is not too far from my own home which lends a extra dimension to the novels from me.
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on 2 May 2004
Candace Robb's Owen Archer Mystery series is a treat which should not be missed by readers who are fond of fiction set in mediaeval times. She has produced another gripping story in 'A Gift of Sanctuary' - sixth book in her Owen Archer Mystery series. (Till date the eight titles published in the series are; The Apothecary Rose, The Lady Chapel, The Nun's Tale, The King's Bishop, The Riddle of St. Leonard's, A Gift of Sanctuary, A Spy for the Redeemer and The Cross-legged Knight.)
Owen Archer, one eyed ex-soldier and part time spy in the 14th century England, accompanies a pilgrimage to the city of St.David's. Accompanied by Geoffrey Chaucer, he is to recruit archers for the Duke of Lancaster. His hidden agenda is to ascertain the loyalty of Duke's steward at Cydweli. Candace Robb weaves the story well. Right from the beginning one gets involved in the characters and their struggles. Owen's self-doubt about his own loyalties as he returns to his homeland - Wales. Sir Robert and Brother Michaelo's inner journey into their past, their regrets and repentance. Chaucer's forays into poetry. And all this successfully knitted into a tight tale of murder, suspense and politics backed by excellent research in the time period by the author. Though a reader like me who does not have any previous knowledge of the Welsh history gets a little lost in the maze of Welsh names and historical references, it does not detract heavily from the overall satisfaction of a reading a well written book. Lovers of this genre may like to check out 'Chronicles of Brother Cadfael' by Ellis Peters and the master piece of this genre, Umberto Eco's 'The Name of the Rose'.
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on 14 December 2014
This book is not set in York as are the earlier books in the series. The plot is more complicated than the earlier books without being sufficiently interesting to make you want to keep track of it. There are slightly too many characters in too many locations.
These novels all seem to include a note at the end - which would be fine if it just gave a little added historical background, but the author's notes treat the characters in her stories and the events in the characters' lives as if they were real. When she is talking about higher status characters who are based on real people about whom historical records give some detail, this makes sense, but the lines often seem to get blurred.
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on 19 October 2013
I found this book very difficult to follow, mainly on account of the greater references to Welsh and English political figures and the history of the tension between England and Wales. Keeping track of all the Welsh names was a chore. Candace Robb's books work best when they avoid the national politics of the day and concentrate on the York characters: I missed Lucie, Jasper, Thoresby, Magda and Bess - and of course the streets of York which I know well. Taking Owen and transplanting him to another place, even if it is the land of his birth, did not work at all for me. It is not often that I give up on a book.
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on 28 April 2016
I thought I was quite addicted to the Owen Archer series but this one hasn't kept me as intrigued as the other stories. The move to Wales loses something for me, and for OA, and the close, parallel journies of the two (& sometimes three) groups of people left me confused at times. I also found it difficult to understand the hierarchy of the characters which led to a confusion when so much is based on being someone's "man" or of people living in fear of their lords. I shall persevere & try the next in series to see if Robb has rectified any of this as I really enjoyed all previous books.
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Spring 1369, Owen Archer, one-time soldier and spy is out recruiting archers for the Duke of Lancaster, but he is also on a mission to find out whether the Duke's own steward is betraying him to the Welsh rebels. Trouble goes before them and a body in the Duke's livery is left at the city gates.

All of Candace Robb's novels have great appeal to those interested in the medieval period and this one is no exception. Owen Archer is a believable hero and the area of York in which he lived is not too far from my own home which lends an extra dimension to the novels for me.
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on 21 August 2001
This Owen Archer mystery is set in Wales. Intriguing as that sounds, Owen Archer is without his principle cast of family and friends, namely, Lucie Wilton, Magda Digby, Archbishop Thoresby, Bess and Jasper de Melton. Alone with Sir Robert and Brother Michaelo, he returns to his homeland for a pilgrimage and to recruit archers for his King. He does an admirable job with the characters he has to work with, but this book does not have the same feel of the previous mysteries. If one cares more for reading a history of Wales than of a thrilling mystery, it is a good book. If the reverse is true, I found it disappointing.
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