The Canterbury Papers

The Canterbury Papers

Book - 2004 | 1st ed.
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Baker & Taylor
The former queen of both England and France, Eleanor of Aquitaine sends her one-time ward, Alais, sister of the king of France, on a mission to retrieve a cache of dangerous letters hidden in Canterbury Cathedral in exchange for revealing a dangerous secret involving the French princess, in a suspenseful debut novel of family secrets, intrigue, and a missing heir set in medieval Europe.

HARPERCOLL

Set in lavishly described medieval England and France, The Canterbury Papers is an enthralling and suspenseful debut novel combining dark family secrets, duplicity, and a missing heir to the throne.

The wily Eleanor of Aquitaine, queen of France and then of England, sends her former ward, Alaïs, the sister of the king of France, to retrieve a cache of letters hidden in Canterbury Cathedral. Letters that, in the wrong hands, could bring down the English king. In return, Eleanor promises to reveal a long-held and dangerous secret involving Alaïs -- a bargain the French princess is powerless to resist.

Within the fortnight the letters would be delivered to Fontrevault Abbey. Then Eleanor would be happy, and I would finally get the information she had promised.

So engaged was I in the arduous task of rising that I failed to hear the slight sound behind me that would have signaled my fate. Instead I was taken completely by surprise. The only thing I felt was a strong hand around my neck, another around my waist, and -- before I could cry out -- I smelled the thick, sweet scent of a mandrake-soaked cloth. Unforgiving hands clapped it against my face, and all went dark.

Before Alaïs can complete her mission, she is abducted, an event that sets in motion a dangerous plot. It will require all of Alaïs's considerable strengths, along with help from the very intriguing leader of the Knights Templar, to unravel dark secrets, unmask evil villains, and escape with her life.

A vividly rendered, spine-tingling historical novel filled with intrigue and peopled with compelling legendary figures, The Canterbury Papers is an extraordinary tale from a brilliant new writer.



Blackwell North Amer
The wily Eleanor of Aquitaine, queen of France and then of England, sends her former ward, Alais, the sister of the king of France, to retrieve a cache of letters hidden in Canterbury Cathedral. Letters that, in the wrong hands, could bring down the English king. In return, Eleanor promises to reveal a long-held and dangerous secret involving Alais - a bargain the French princess is powerless to resist.
Before Alais can complete her mission, she is abducted, an event that sets in motion a dangerous plot. It will require all of Alais's considerable strengths, along with help from the very intriguing leader of the Knights Templar, to unravel dark secrets, unmask evil villains, and escape with her life.

Baker
& Taylor

The former queen of both England and France, Eleanor of Aquitaine sends her one-time ward, Alais, sister of the king of France, on a mission to retrieve a cache of dangerous letters hidden in Canterbury Cathedral.

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2004.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780060525354
0060525355
9780060773328
Characteristics: xii, 353 p. : map ; 24 cm.

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artemishi
Jun 10, 2015

The Canterbury Papers brought to life an historical figure I'd never encountered before- Alaïs Capet, stepdaughter of Eleanor of Aquitane. This book did an excellent job of bringing a little-known figure into life, especially as an older (for the day) woman caught in the typical Plantagenet drama of the day.

There's a fair amount of actual history in here, and the author is good at calling out the fictitious bits from it. It's got a lot going on- mainly intrigue and mystery, but also adventure, a strong female protagonist, and romance. It's a pretty well-paced novel, although I wanted to see more about William Marshall and a few of the other side characters (who are actual historical figures).

Overall, I recommend it for fans of historical fiction, especially 1200s England/France/Aquitane, the Plantagenets, and the Knights Templar. Even if you are only mildly interested in historical fiction, the narrative voice of a 40s-sh woman being given the breath and space to become her own person (at a time where she was, by status and birth, always meant to be a political pawn) was refreshing and sweet.

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regina08
Dec 08, 2014

This book is extremely well-written. The plot and the many interesting historical details made it difficult to put down. I found myself reading well into the night. I can't wait for this author's next book.

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