Author: Kate Innes
Publisher: Mindforest Press
Type of book: 1266, 1284-1285, England, Wales, uprising, King Edward I, journey, travel, being set up, guilty of association, theft, daily life, disguises, monastery, myths, legends
Year it was published: 2015
A headlong journey through the physical and spiritual dangers of Plantagenet Britain, in all its savage pageantry.
Welsh Marches, July 1284 - the uprising in Wales is over, the leader gruesomely executed, the dead are buried. But for Illesa Arrowsmith, the war’s aftermath is just as brutal. When her brother is thrown into the Forester’s prison on false charges, she is left impoverished and alone. All Illesa has left is the secret manuscript entrusted to her – a book so powerful it can save lives, a book so valuable that its discovery could lead to her death.
When the bailiff’s daughter finds it, Illesa decides to run, and break her brother out of jail by whatever means. But the powerful Forester tracks them down, and Illesa must put herself and the book at the mercy of an unscrupulous knight who threatens to reveal all their secrets, one by one.
Inspired by the seductive art of illuminated manuscripts, The Errant Hours draws from the deep well of medieval legend to weave a story of survival and courage, trickery and love.
“Kate Innes’s glorious first novel is a lyrical joy. Up there with the best of Pat Bracewell and Elizabeth Chadwick, it offers utter immersion in an intricate, plausible world. A must read for the autumn.”
Main characters include Illesa Arrowsmith who is very devoted to her brother and happens to be a healer and often uses her healing powers for good. She is unconventional, isn't afraid of taking risks be it dressing up as a man, or rescuing her brother and so forth. Her brother, Kit, seems to be a never-do-well and enjoys working with his hands. There is also a knight that is loyal and dedicated to her brother and from whom she learns some secrets.
Nothing is hidden forever
The story is in third person narrative from Illesa's point of view. From the first few pages, I was hooked on the story and couldn't wait until I learned how it all tied together.I really couldn't find any faults with the story and really enjoyed reading it. The author feels extremely careful with details and it adds a whole lot to credibility of the story. The last quarter of the book was a bit confusing for me, but other than that, fascinating and unforgettable story.
(From inside the book)
Having lived and worked on three continents, Kate Innes has settled enar Wenlock Edge in England, and it is this beautiful historic landscape that has inspired most of her writing.
Formerly a teacher and museum education officer, Kate now writes fiction and poetry amidst the happy chaos of her three children.
I've studied Medieval Ages when I majored in history (I kept my textbook even) and I have to say that the pictures, the characters, and the setting, it's as the author has secretly built a time machine and traveled there and then spun a story about it. The story feels real and genuine and I'm happy that she is more historical rather than contemporary. I really liked reading it, and found the plot fascinating and wasn't even sure where it would go. I also liked that she included myths behind what people of that time believed in which means that for those who are only getting into historical fiction of Medieval Ages, I would really recommend this be the starting book. A strong unconventional heroine, a fascinating story of discovery, and very imaginative time period of knights, kings, queens and myths and legends.
I won this from Goodreads Firstreads
5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)