(Sea and Stone Chronicles, Book 3)
By Amy Maroney
A broken promise. A bitter conflict. And a woman’s elusive chance to love or die.
1458. Young Frenchwoman Estelle de Montavon sails to Cyprus imagining a bright future as tutor to a princess. Instead, she is betrayed by those she loves most—and forced into a dangerous new world of scheming courtiers, vicious power struggles, and the terrifying threat of war.
Determined to flee, Estelle enlists the help of an attractive and mysterious falconer. But on the eve of her escape, fortune’s wheel turns again. She gains entry to Queen Charlotta’s inner circle as a trusted scribe and interpreter, fighting her way to dizzying heights of influence.
Enemies old and new rise from the shadows as Estelle navigates a royal game of cat and mouse between the queen and her powerful half-brother, who wants the throne for himself.
When war comes to the island, Estelle faces a brutal reckoning for her loyalty to the queen. Will the impossible choice looming ahead be her doom—or her salvation?
With this richly-told story of courage, loyalty, and the sustaining power of love, Amy Maroney brings a mesmerizing and forgotten world to vivid life. The Queen’s Scribe is a stand-alone novel in the Sea and Stone Chronicles collection.
Praise for the Sea and Stone Chronicles:
“Island of Gold is a nimbly told story with impeccable pacing.”
—Historical Novel Society, Editor’s Choice Review
“Sea of Shadows is stunning. A compelling tale of love, honor, and conviction.”
—Reader’s Favorite Review
Amy Maroney is the author of the award-winning Miramonde Series, the story of a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern day scholar on her trail.
Publisher: Artelan Press
Page Length: 388
Genre: Historical fiction
Estelle de Montavon’s journey to Cyprus was built on promises and hopes for the future. She was sent to act as a tutor to Princess Charlotta, to teach her the language she requires to talk to her new husband. But what Estelle finds when she reaches Cyprus is not at all what she expected. Rumours spread like disease, and conspirators are hiding where you would least expect them.
As Estelle finds her place within the court, a tutor no longer necessary, she faces people of power who would turn the Queen against her, or try to trap her. Trapped between loyalty to the Queen, and the power of the Queen’s half-brother, Estelle struggles to keep her head above water, trying to ensure she makes it known what side she supports in an attempt to keep her head on her shoulders. But the closer she gets to the Queen, and the more influence she gains, the more danger she finds herself in – for who wouldn’t try to target the Queen’s most trusted confidant and scribe?
Surrounded by plots, schemes, and a building war, Estelle must keep fighting for her freedom, even though returning to France seems an impossible dream.
Estelle is a woman to be admired. She faces near-constant threats, and must attempt to please everyone to avoid unnecessary suspicion in a court full of untrusting, and untrustworthy, people, but still manages to hold herself together. She has immense amounts of bravery and has no problem with standing up for herself, however, she is but a woman in a royal court, and doesn’t have the power she needs to ensure her own safety. Other people have plans for her, plans she is not privy to, and she must remain constantly on guard for unexpected changes and potential threats. I absolutely adored reading about Estelle and following her on her journey through the Queen’s court. She is an incredibly strong character, but not impossibly so. She has moments of weakness, of thinking herself stuck with no hope of escape, but she has friends who would do anything to keep her alive, just as she would for them.
Gabriel Bayoumi is a character I was not quite expecting in this novel. I knew that Amy Maroney’s books involved the Knights Hospitaller, and falconers played a big part in her stories, but before this book, I had never read one of her books before. Gabriel is an under-falconer, working in Cyprus when Estelle arrives. They might get off to a rocky start, but their immediate attraction to one another is undeniable. I did not think there would be two characters to follow in this book, but it was a welcome surprise, and I found myself greatly enjoying Gabriel’s chapters, almost as much as Estelle’s. He may be outside of the court, and not find himself in as much danger as Estelle is surrounded by, but his life is not without its dangers, and after meeting Estelle, he is in infinitely more trouble, as he can’t help but do his best to keep her alive and safe. Gabriel had a rough start to life, and although finding falconry saved him in the short term, finding Estelle gave him a reason to fight rather than simply take the easy road when it came to picking sides and pledging loyalties.
This book is packed to the rim with historical facts, and while reading you can almost feel yourself walking alongside Estelle, getting used to life in Cyprus and learning how to stay alive. This book succeeds massively in drawing you into the pages and making you not want to put the book down. After reading a chapter or two, you find you can’t stop until you have read the whole book, it draws you in and holds you captive until you have devoured every word. I have never read a historical book based in Cyprus before, and know absolutely nothing about life there during this time period, but that didn’t hold me back from absolutely loving this book. There is little need for historical knowledge, as the author has written the book for all to understand – everything is explained wonderfully, and at no point are you ripped away from the story needing to look anything up. For a place and period in history that I am sure not many people know much about, this book has been written absolutely marvellously.
This is the first of Amy Maroney’s books I have read, but I am certain it will not be the last. She has an ability to ensnare your attention, and make you read well into the night. At one point, I fell asleep on the sofa while reading this book, I was so desperate not to put it down. If you are a fan of historical fiction, and love the drama and intrigue of a divided and scheming court, this is certainly the book for you. It is an absolute masterpiece, and I will certainly be reading it again and again!
Amy Maroney studied English Literature at Boston University and worked for many years as a writer and editor of nonfiction. She lives in Oregon, U.S.A. with her family. When she’s not diving down research rabbit holes, she enjoys hiking, dancing, traveling, and reading.
Amy is the author of The Miramonde Series, an Amazon-bestselling historical mystery trilogy about a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern-day scholar on her trail. Amy’s award-winning historical adventure/romance series, Sea and Stone Chronicles, is set in medieval Rhodes and Cyprus.
An enthusiastic advocate for independent publishing, Amy is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and the Historical Novel Society.
Thank you so much for your wonderful review of The Queen's Scribe. Much appreciated. I'm delighted you enjoyed the novel.ReplyDelete
The Coffee Pot Book Club
Beatrice, thanks so much for hosting me today and for the fabulous review. I'm so happy you enjoyed The Queen's Scribe!ReplyDelete