Saturday, February 21, 2015

G541 Book Review of The Blood of the Fifth Knight by E.M Powell

Name of Book: The Blood of the Fifth Knight

Author: E.M Powell

ISBN: 978-1477827147

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

Part of a Series: The Fifth Knight is the prequel

Type of book: 1176, Medieval, Eleanor of Aquitaine, marriage, mystery, murder, gory details, life in medieval ages, sequel, Henry II, loyalty, miracle, revenge, retribution

Year it was published: 2014


England, 1176. King Henry II has imprisoned his rebellious Queen for attempting to overthrow him. But with her conspirators still at large and a failed assassination attempt on his beautiful mistress, Rosamund Clifford, the King must take action to preserve his reign.

Desperate, Henry turns to the only man he trusts: a man whose skills have saved him once before. Sir Benedict Palmer answers the call, mistakenly believing that his family will remain safe while he attends to his King.

As Palmer races to secure the throne for the King, neither man senses the hand of a brilliant schemer, a mystery figure loyal to Henry’s traitorous Queen who will stop at nothing to see the King defeated.

The Blood of the Fifth Knight is an intricate medieval murder mystery and a worthy follow-on to E.M. Powell’s acclaimed historical thriller The Fifth Knight.


The main characters included Benedict Palmer, the knight hiding as a peasant who lives with Theodosia and is close to Henry II. He is asked to solve the mystery of Rosamund Clifford and who wants her dead; he is resourceful, cunning, and protective. Theodosia is Benedict Palmer's wife and is best described as a bit cowardly when it comes to swimming, loyal and fierce when circumstances demand it. Geoffrey is Henry II's illegitimate son and he is fierce and is more of a war person than one of letters. Other characters include Joan, Palmer's sister who has secrets of her own, then the uncle of Eleanor who desires to be the chivalric hero Yvain, and the mistress Rosamund who seems to be naive and a risk taker.  The characters were all memorable for me and were well written.


Past makes up the future


The story is told in third person narrative from Palmer's and Theodosia's points of view, although at brief intervals we also get points of view from Rosamund Clifford, the uncle and some other antagonists. While I enjoyed spending time with the characters and was impressed with how well they were drawn, I do feel that the character of Joan needed to be worked on more, and there seemed to be lack of connected points in helping a reader understand how some of the mysteries were done, especially relating to Theodosia. I also wished to have read the previous book so I can understand the story better.

Author Information:
(From Pump UP Your Book Website)

E.M. PowellE. M. Powell is the author of medieval thriller The Fifth Knight, which was a #1 Amazon Bestseller. Born and raised in the Republic of Ireland into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State), she now lives in the northwest of England with her husband and daughter and a Facebook-friendly dog. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society (HNS), International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America, as well as a reviewer of fiction and nonfiction for the HNS.
Her latest book is the historical mystery/thriller, THE BLOOD OF THE FIFTH KNIGHT.
For More Information


    I haven't read the prequel to the book, The Fifth Knight, and therefore some of my understanding for the story was missing, especially when one of the major plot lines goes back to the first book. Therefore I wouldn't classify it as a stand-alone book. Other than that, its a well written and gripping story of Henry II and I also got to be briefly reunited with the infamous Eleanor of Aquitaine and the uncle that has the hots for her. (One thing I will never forget from my Crusades class.) I also am a little peeved that certain things aren't explained towards the end, how some of the things were accomplished for instance, especially pertaining to Theodosia's struggles while Palmer is away. What is impressive is how at home one feels within the book; one barely needs any knowledge of the late 12th century to understand the political situation and the author doesn't bog the story down with unnecessary historical details that might confuse the reader. Also, very strong heroines make their appearances in the story too, ones the reader will not expect.

    This is for Pump Up Your Book Tour

    4 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.)

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