Sunday, February 1, 2009

Review: The Lady Chapel, by Candace Robb


The Lady Chapel is the second in Cadace Robb’s series featuring Owen Archer—Welsh bowman and apprentice apothecary—and his wife, Lucie Wilton. Here, it is 1365, and a wool merchant is murdered near York Minster, his throat slit and the only witness an eight-year-old boy. The solution to the problem which doesn’t come easily for our unusual hero, involves the international wool trade, as well as King Edward III himself and his mistress, the wily Alive Perrers.

The writing style of this novel is a little dense, especially when talking about the politics of the time period. I also got the feeling that the speech patterns of the characters were a little anachronistic. The strength of the Owen Archer books lies in their plots, usually centering around something much larger than would appear at first, and The Lady Chapel is no exception. Robb does a great job intertwining the historical places and figures with the fictional. The best part of this series is, however, the characters; Owen and Lucie are compelling enough that they’re worth staying with for future novels.

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