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    Review of THE CANTERBURY PAPERS by Judith Koll Heale

    William Morrow, December 2003

    Review by Jennifer Vilches

    Princess Ala´s is bored and disillusioned with life in the court of her brother the King of France. When Eleanor of Aquitaine dangles the promise of information that Ala´s desperately wants, Ala´s agrees to travel to Canterbury to retrieve a packet of Eleanor's potentially embarrassing letters. Her simple quest turns into something more dangerous as her rooms are ransacked and she is snatched away from the protection of her attendant knights.

    How can she gain possession of the elusive letters and why are so many people suddenly interested in her jeweled pendant? Ala´s has to figure out whom she can trust as her path collides with King John, mysterious monks, and the Knights of Templar. Dangerous secrets about her stormy past with the royal family of England just might hold the key.

    You don't have to be an expert on medieval times to appreciate The Canterbury Papers, but Healey thoughtfully includes a brief overview of royal politics of the time and a summary at the end separating the fiction from the facts. The book has a very historically accurate feel, and it is obvious that Healey put a lot of time into her settings and characterizations. This charming mystery surprised me - I didn't expect to be as captivated as I was. Ala´s is a strong character with wit and passion. Healey throws in a charming romance, which does a great job of lightening the tone set by endless court intrigue and family betrayals.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 7/01/04

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