"The treasure had been above ground for under an hour and already it had claimed three lives. This was how it began."
1216. King John seeks to combine his forces against the invading army of Prince Louis of France supported by disloyal barons. John calls on his loyal supporters, amongst them Sir Josse d’Acquin. Joss sets off with his brother Yves and his son Geoffroi to join the King.
Meggie his daughter, a healer has been called by Abbess Caliste to Hawkenlye Abbey. When the message comes Meggie is deep in the forest. She finds strength and knowing here, descended as she is from the Forest People. At the same time Meggie is concerned about her partner"s absence, Jehan, the smithy. She's troubled about their relationship and what she wants for her future.
At the Abbey, Meggie becomes involved with a distressed woman and her son, strangers to England and seemingly on an urgent quest. A quest that will involve a cursed treasure.
Thus begins Meggie's gripping race across England trying to save the life of Queen Isabella, wife to King John, and then onto searching for King John himself. All the while gleaning snippets of information about what drives the woman Hadil and her son Faruq.
Based partly on the death of King John, Clare has woven fact and fiction into an exciting landscape of intrigue and treachery with a touch of magic. The nature, the strengths and weaknesses of King John are nicely illuminated.
Evil is very much in ascendency and Meggie's search will take her into an armed camp and into the king's presence, where her father, uncle and brother are, and unknowingly in the same vicinity as her missing lover, Jehan.
This last in the seventeen book series, the Hawkenlye Mysteries draws to conclusion a very satisfying journey.
A NetGalley ARC