The Rebel Princess

Judith Koll Healey, Author . Morrow $24.99 (365p) ISBN 978-0-06-167356-6

In this sequel to Healy's debut (The Canterbury Papers ), set in 13th-century France, King Phillippe's sister, Princess Alaïs, is surprised by his request for advice regarding a mysterious note warning him to stay out of the affairs of Toulouse, where his cousin Raymond rules. When the pope's envoy arrives, begging Philippe to help fight a proto-Protestant religious sect called the Cathars in Raymond's territory, Philippe refuses—besides the warning, Philippe carries a grudge against Pope Innocent. When Alaïs's aunt Constance, along with a palace treasure, disappears, Alaïs defies the wishes of her betrothed, William, a Knight Templar, and rides southward with a few trusted knights to find answers and, maybe, a resolution to the conflict. Uncovering the plot against Toulouse, Alaïs is commanding but not stubborn, and Healey uses sumptuous detail to explore the courtly lives of spiritually frustrated medieval women; unfortunately, tedium sets in as it becomes clear that the princess's every hunch will turn out to be right. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/11/2009
Release date: 07/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
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