Author: EM Powell
Title: The Blood of the Fifth Knight
Genre: Historical Fiction & mystery
First Published: Janurary 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me for my honest and unbiased opinion by the author/publisher)
England, 1176. King Henry II has imprisoned his rebellious Queen for attempting to overthrow him. But with her conspirators still at large and a failed assassination attempt on his beautiful mistress, Rosamund Clifford, the King must take action to preserve his reign.
Desperate, Henry turns to the only man he trusts: a man whose skills have saved him once before. Sir Benedict Palmer answers the call, mistakenly believing that his family will remain safe while he attends to his King.
As Palmer races to secure the throne for the King, neither man senses the hand of a brilliant schemer, a mystery figure loyal to Henry’s traitorous Queen who will stop at nothing to see the King defeated.
It was nice to read a different POV during this time period. 8 out of 10 books are set in Eleanor's POV; which I adore her to bits, but it was a nice change. That is why I picked this book up! Not only are there parts with Henry's POV, but there are a few side characters that get their say as well. It was nice and done in a way that I never got confused who was talking. So yayy!
The book started a little slow, it was actiony, but slow since it was in Henry's POV mainly. I don't like Henry at all. He is a snotball. However, it was fun to read his thoughts and views on his wife. The books begins with Henry's little penance after murdering an archbishop (which according to Palmer and Theodosia said he didn't do it - so he is such a hero for taking the blame. Meh). From there the story gets juicy...someone is trying to kill Henry's mistress and so Henry has summoned a great knight, Palmer. Henry trusts this Palmer guy because he is married to his bastard daughter, Theodosia. Was she real? How do you say her name? Hmmmm.
Now, the only thing I thought was super, duper silly was the fact that Theodosia is a royal bastard child who was recognized and accepted by Henry (he even adores her), however, they are living in secret. Okay, totally get it. They fear Eleanor will see them as a threat to her throne, but they are living as peasants. What? They barely have enough to eat. What? C'mon. Henry would just hid them in a nunnery or whatever like he did Amelie. Super silly.
This was a fun adventure, I pretty much guessed who was the assassin right off the bat. Granted, at one point the author gives the assassin's POV, but they are hiding and you don't know who they are pretending to be. However, its one of my talents to guess who is the murder or whatever. ;) There was ONE part that through me for a loop and I did not expect it. I cannot say, but dammit...the author got me. hahaha. It upset me that this person was working for Eleanor. Oh well.
Even though I am team Eleanor, I was kinda sorta rooting for Palmer 0.0. I know, I know, I am a traitor, but I liked him! I wish he was on the Queen's team fighting for her and the boys.
The ending was pretty good. It was perfect, in my opinion.
In the end, this was a fun adventure. After the first couple of chapters, the story got really good and I could NOT put it down. I loved the side characters like Palmer, they made the story. I do not like Henry still, but it was a nice change to see other POVs besides for the Queen. Love her, but its a nice shake-up. I shall stamp this with...mmmm...4 stars.
Favorite Character(s): Palmer, Theodosia, & Eleanor (of course - even though she really didn't have any spotlight...she was mentioned in passing and a portrait).
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Henry & Joan (tsk)