The Prince of Poison

Pamela Kaufman, Author . Three Rivers $14.95 (432p) ISBN 978-1-4000-8063-2

This brisk if jumbled historical romance concludes the author's trilogy about Lady Alix of Wanthwaite, a 13th-century English noblewoman whom trouble seems to follow. Most pressingly, King John, the prince of the title, believes Lady Alix to be carrying the bastard son of his dead brother Richard the Lion-Hearted—i.e., the rightful heir—so John marks her and her unborn child for death. After biting the king's member at the climax of a highly improbable but winningly bawdy opening chase scene, Alix, who narrates, escapes back to England with the help of Norman Jews and has the baby—a boy, natch. Unfortunately her legal husband and true love, the Scotsman Enoch, has thought her dead, and remarried, and John is soon back on the trail of Alix and son Theo. Alix and Theo are separated, and John eventually tracks Theo down. John does not relent, but Alix has connections, and Enoch is never completely out of the picture. Kaufman, who lives in L.A., mixes sound historiography and vivid dialogue with implausible events; this follow-up to Banners of Gold gets good mileage out of genre conventions. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 01/09/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 216 pages - 978-0-307-34540-0
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