By Candace Robb 
William Heinemann - 1999
ISBN 0-434-00873-7
Mystery / Historical

Reviewed by: Rachel A Hyde, MyShelf.Com

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It is spring 1370 and Owen Archer is longing to see his wife again – but he is still stuck in Wales following the events of the sixth book.  He has been spying for John of Gaunt but when a stonemason is found dead he is the most likely person to solve the crime.  However, now he is back in Wales he is beginning to feel the call of his blood and wishing to join the rebel leader Owain Lawgoch; how can he do so when he has a wife and family back in York? 

Meanwhile rumors have reached York that he has already abandoned his family and friends for the cause of Welsh Nationalism.  Lucie has trouble of her own on her hands to deal with when she visits her aunt following the death of her father.  Her neighbor is an attractive man and is paying court to her, even lending her his steward to protect her as she journeys north to her father’s house.  Trouble is waiting for her – what is wrong with her aunt and why is the manor house suddenley attacked? 

I do admire an author who is not content to roll out book after book where the characters stick to a winning formula and never change but who realizes that real people do change and grow and so do their lives.  Owen and Lucie are miles apart but they are both having adventures independent of each other and neither is so uxorious that they cannot let their eyes roam a little to other people or causes.  They seem all the realer for this and I hope they continue to do so in the succeeding books.  As always with this author a real page-turner with lots of intrigue, murder and general derring-do.  One to read over Christmas with a plate of turkey sandwiches and a glass of something before a roaring fire! 

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