Saturday, November 19, 2011

Review: The King's Witch by Cecilia Holland

Publish Date: June 2011
Format: Paperback 320pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Of the women in King Richard's life, she is the least known-and the most powerful. 
During the Third Crusade, deaths from fever and starvation are common, but King Richard the Lion-Hearted has a secret ally against these impassable enemies-a mysterious healer by the name of Edythe. 
She was sent to him by his mother Eleanor, and Richard first assumes that Edythe is a spy. But when her medical knowledge saves his life, she becomes an indispensable member of his camp-even as his loyal soldiers, suspicious of her talent for warding off death, call her a witch."

My Review:

In her latest novel, The Kings's Witch, Cecilia Holland does a fabulous job of bringing to life the trials and destruction created during the battles of Richard the Lionheart's Third Crusade. It's not often I find a novel where the Crusades are the main setting, instead it is merely mentioned as a an event occurring far away from England, so I thoroughly enjoyed Cecilia's representation of this tumultuous time. Another aspect I appreciated while reading this novel was learning more about the key players of the Third Crusade; Cecilia really focused on the political drama throughout The King's Witch.

Although the aforementioned aspects were quite intriguing, I found the rest of the plot to be a bit lacking. Due to the numerous political figures mentioned in the beginning of the book, the story had a somewhat choppy and overwhelming feeling for the first handful of chapters. But this might not be an issue for someone well learned in the political aspects of the Crusades. After 100 pages or so the story picked up and the characters began to take on distinct personalities. The plot had a few slow moments but overall it was an easy read with intriguing drama and likable characters. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an introduction to the main players of the Crusades and the type of life they lived.

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.
FTC: I received this book from the publisher. As always, these are my own honest opinions.


Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I am not well-learned in the political aspects of the Crusades. I suspect I would feel the same as you.

Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader said...

Thanks for the review, Svea. I've been on the fence about whether or not to give this one a try. Having recently finished Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman, where the Crusades are front and centre, I could probably now take a chance with this one...although I won't be in a rush to do so.