Wednesday 6 July 2022

A Discovering Diamonds Review of The Lawless Land, by Boyd and Beth Morrison

fictional drama
14th century 1300s
England, France

"Live by the sword. Die for the truth.
England, 1351. The Pestilence has ravaged the land. Villages lie abandoned but for crows and corpses. Highways are patrolled by marauders and murderers. In these dark and dangerous times, the wise keep to themselves.
But Gerard Fox cannot afford to be wise. The young knight has been robbed of his ancestral home, his family name tarnished. To regain his lands and reputation, he sets forth to petition the one man who can restore them.
Fate places Fox on the wrong road at the wrong time as he hurtles towards a chance encounter. It will entangle him with an enigmatic woman, a relic of incalculable value, and a dark family secret. It will lead him far from home and set him on a collision course with one of the most ambitious and dangerous men in Europe – a man on the cusp of seizing Christendom's highest office.
And now, Fox is the only one standing in his way..."

Gerard Fox may be a knight, and Lord of Oakhurst, but he is also a restless, disgraced man, excommunicated and alone in the world. A chance encounter leads him to save a noblewoman fleeing her abusive soon-to-be husband with a great treasure, and into a dangerous adventure.

Fast-paced and peopled with corrupt churchmen, a revengeful half-brother, loyal and resourceful companions from Gerard’s past, and a brave, capable woman, The Lawless Land is set in part in places familiar to readers (or watchers) of medieval drama: Canterbury, Mont St Michel, Notre Dame. 

There is rapid action coupled with detailed descriptions of risky escapes and battles, both hand-to-hand and on the tiltyard, balanced by devious plans to keep the noblewoman’s treasure – a sacred icon of great age and holiness – from falling into the wrong hands. Wit and daring matter, both with weapons and plans.

The Lawless Land is first and foremost an adventure story, although enough backstory for Gerard is included to develop his character nicely. Twists and turns abound, keeping the story flowing and the reader intrigued. Well-researched, there are enough features of medieval life, from details such as pilgrim badges to references to the Reynard the Fox folktales, to set the story in its time. 

The ending, while wrapping up this story nicely, makes it clear there are future books to come.

A few things niggled: the use of ‘teen’ to describe a youth; ‘weasel words’– modern terms that jolted this reader out of the fantasy of medieval life. Some of the flashbacks felt intrusive. But overall, The Lawless Land is recommended for fans of Knightfall, or Dan Brown-style stories – or simply anyone who wants an entertaining escape.

Reviewed for Discovering Diamonds 

© Marian L Thorpe
 e-version reviewed

No comments:

Post a Comment

We do not accept comments. If you need to contact Discovering Diamonds go to the CONTACT facility

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.