Talking about the book: The Fifth Knight by E.M. Powell

Title: The Fifth Knight
Author: E.M. Powell

A tidbit about the author
E.M. is from Ireland, but currently lives in northwest England. Her debut novel, The Fifth Knight, was an Amazon #1 bestseller. She has family ties to Michael Collins, founder of the Irish Free State. Her agent calls her books “car chases with chainmail.”  Check out my interview of E.M.!

The story
When mercenary Sir Benedict Palmer agrees to help King Henry II’s knights seize the traitor Archbishop Thomas Becket, what begins as a clandestine arrest ends in cold-blooded murder. And when Fitzurse, the knights’ ringleader, kidnaps Theodosia, a beautiful young nun who witnessed the crime, Palmer can sit silently by no longer. He and Theodosia rely only on each other as they race to uncover the motive behind Becket’s murder—and the truth that could destroy a kingdom.
–from the book blurb.

The scene that made you laugh out loud or cheer
This is tough because to tell you the many places I cheered would mean giving away plot points. No spoilers allowed! So…let’s see… I cheered every time Palmer or Theodosia got the better of the bad guys.

One scene that made me laugh out loud is near the end of the book. Palmer has been rewarded for his service to King Henry. He has been presented with a fine stallion and a fancy saddle:

He picked up the ornate saddle and opened the door of the stall. “Definitely made for a king’s arse. Not mine,” he remarked to the horse.

“What’s that about my arse?” Henry’s face popped up over the partition between stalls.

Palmer colored redder than he ever had in his life. “Y-your Grace.” He bowed deeply and lowered the saddle to the floor. “A thousand apologies, sire. I didn’t know you were there.”

Henry snorted with laughter. “Obviously.”

The place where you wanted to throw the book across the room
Palmer can be far too patient with Theodosia. The man is trying to keep her safe and she spouts platitudes at him. She could be quite annoying. As an anchoress, she’d led a secluded existence, which obviously plays a huge part in her reactions to events. Most people choose this life freely, right? Theodosia had been forced into it as a child, and believed the rubbish she’d been fed. Agh! So sad and depressing. Powell created a situation that definitely hit on at extremely emotional level for me.

A memorable line
“I don’t know how saving a life is a sin. But you know far more about sin than I do.”
–Palmer to Theodosia

My verdict:   *****4.5 stars*****
I really enjoyed The Fifth Knight. And I *love* the title of the book. Even before I read the book blurb, I was already intrigued. Four knights murdered Beckett, the Archbishop of Canterbury, on the 29th of December 1170. Author Powell gives us a “What if?” scenario – a fifth knight, Benedict Palmer. The story opens with a wild storm on the English Channel. The writing is excellent, fast-paced. This book is a page-turner. Powell throws one obstacle after another in front of her main characters Palmer and Theodosia. Just when you think you can breathe easy, the story takes an unexpected turn. Life in the 12th century is painted vividly, as are the characters, including some of the nastiest villains you will ever meet.  I am looking forward to the sequel, The Blood of the Fifth Knight, available here in the U.S. on January 1, 2015


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