Sir Benedict Palmer is older than when we last saw him, but King Henry doesn’t mean to let him rest his tired bones. The king has just bestowed the lordship of Ireland on his greedy and rapacious son John Lackland, and Benedict’s been sent along to keep an eye on the boy and watch out for treachery from the powerful baron Hugh de Lacy. The trouble is, Benedict’s wife Theodosia won’t let him go without her. Disguising herself as a nun, she takes ship for Ireland and ends up becoming a scribe for John’s clerk. But when things turn sour with the Irish warlords, Benedict and Theodosia must choose which side to support in a decision that may cost the pair of them their lives.
E.M. Powell explores a piece of history that has always been a side note in other stories I’ve read. Treachery and intrigue are deftly woven into a framework of real historical events, and the fast-paced narrative keeps readers, as well as the characters, on their toes. The author leaves no room for doubt as to which side has the moral high ground in this conflict and paints a well-rounded picture of Hugh de Lacy and the Irish princess he has married and come to love. This is a story I would love to learn more about and an excellent addition to the saga of the Fifth Knight.