Sunday, December 30, 2012

Blood Lance by Jeri Westerson

I am a big fan of Jeri Westerson's Crispin Guest novels (the current title is Book 5).  With her extensive knowledge of medieval England, she makes fourteenth-century London come alive.  Containing well developed characters and a wealth of period detail this book is another fascinating and entertaining entry in the series.

Disgraced former knight Crispin Guest witnesses a body falling from the uppermost part of London Bridge.  He tries to save the man, but is too late.  Witnesses on the street say they believe it was a suicide, but Crispin does not believe that.  As he investigates the death of the man (who turns out to be an armorer who had a shop on the bridge), he is even more convinced that murder was afoot.  Crispin's hunt for the murderer also involves a friend or two from Crispin's old life, a search for the Spear of Longinus (the spear that pierced the side of Christ on the cross—which is believed to make those who possess it invincible), and a rousing joust on London Bridge.

A very pleasurable read indeed.  There is even a nice little Afterword in the book from Ms. Westerson giving us a little more background on the Holy Spear (or the Spear of Destiny/Spear of Longinus) and some fleshing out of some of the historical characters, as well as a bit more about PTSD and the idea that knights suffered from it.  Fascinating.

Am very much looking forward to Book 6, Shadow of the Alchemist, which will be released in the Fall of 2013.

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