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Plaint for Provence: 1152: Les Baux (The Troubadours Quartet Book 3)

Plaint for Provence: 1152: Les Baux (The Troubadours Quartet Book 3)
Winner of the Global Ebook Award for Best Historical Fiction

1152: Les-Baux-de-Provence

'By far the best historical fiction I have read this year! - Rabia Tanveer, December 2015, for Readers' Favorite

Summoned to the court of Les Baux, Estela and her lover, Dragonetz, are embroiled in two rival claims for power as their feuding liege lords gather in Provence. Although Estela is reluctant to leave her idyll with her young child Musca, and her pursuit of Arabic medicine, she welcomes the chance to show her musical skills and to support Dragonetz, who must use his swordsmanship to play peacemaker.

The visit of the Comte de Barcelone to Les Baux sparks bitter memories of the recent civil war and Lady Etiennette des Baux has no intention of ceding to her overlord. Nor does she plan to remain a widow. With good friends on both sides, Dragonetz weaves a precarious path through the rival factions at court where an uneasy truce prevails behind the chivalry of hunt and tournament.

Meanwhile, Estela faces her own demons. Confronted with her childhood abusers, threatened and attacked, she confides in her friends. Unfortunately, one of those friends is Dragonetz' worst enemy and Estela has no idea of what he is capable.

In this third volume of the Troubadours Quartet, Jean Gill, the 'master of historical intrigue', continues to weave the gripping adventures of Dragonetz and Estela seamlessly into real historical events. Medieval France comes alive in all its facets, from healing with leeches to training a goshawk.

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'Page-turning intrigue in the best historical fiction tradition' - J.G. Harlond, The Empress Emerald

'Jean Gill is the master of historical intrigue' - C.M.T. Stibbe, Chasing Pharoahs

'Rich in historical detail, this novel brings alive all aspects of mediaeval life from the political undertones of the high-born pursuits of hunting and jousting tournaments, to the simpler occupations of the peasants, like bee-keeping' - Karen Charlton, The Inspector Lavender Mysteries

'I like a book that makes my heart race and 'Bladesong' did exactly that. It's a great story' - Molly Gambiza, A Woman's Weakness
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“Plaint for Provence” is the third book in the Troubadors Quartet by Jean Gill. The story continues to follow the troubairitz Estela de Matin and her lover Dragonetz los Pros as they navigate the often troubled waters of political intrigue in medieval France. Now reunited with their infant son Musca and Estela beloved guard dog Nici they have settled into family life in Marselha. But their peaceful existence is soon to be disturbed by the outside world. As the story progresses old friends and enemies return and the maneuvering of those in power as well as those who seek it, plays out against the colorful backdrop of the period.

As with the first two books in the series, this book is well researched. Gill’s beautifully written descriptions of the region are so engaging it’s as if the reader has traveled back in time. Along with this are her vibrant images of the characters. Her ability to keep characters lively throughout the series speaks highly of her talent as a writer.

Particularly fascinating in this installment is Estela’s growing interest in the pharmacopeia of the period. This adds yet another fascinating dimension to the character.

The character of Dragonetz has also developed beautifully. His love for and devotion to Estela has become even more evident giving him a depth that is compelling.

By the end of this portion of the quartet Estela and Dragonetz are fully committed to one another. Each has released the ties of past relationships, family and friends, dedicating themselves to each other, their child, and the true friends who have supported them throughout. Their devotion is inspiring.

Another positive for Ms Gill is her addition of a list of characters and the identification of whether they are real historical figures or fictional characters of her creation. She has interspersed the two so skillfully that it would be difficult to know which was which without this explanation.

Gill is quite skilled at ending her books at a point that leaves the reader eager for more but not disturbed by a sudden jolt of separation. I look forward to the next edition. No one writes historical fiction as well as Jean Gill. I give this book a solid Gold Bookworm. gold_bookworm
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