Monday, March 17, 2014

Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes

In December of 1377, four children were burned to death in a house fire.

Campanile Press and Net Galley allowed me to download a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It was published in January, so you should be able to find a copy at your local bookstore now.

There were two things that made me want to read this book:  It was set in medieval times and the main character is woman passing herself off as a man.

The boys were dressed in their best clothes; the door to the house was tied shut from the outside.  Why were the boys there and who tied that knot?  Who set the fire?  The villagers are angry and want justice, so they decide to take the matter to their King to demand justice.

Never mind that they can't travel the land without permission and banner from the owner of the land.  Never mind that the bodies must be buried in a short period of time to comply with the law.  The roads are dangerous with bandits and slavers pouncing on anyone without protection.  It doesn't help that the villagers are fighting amongst themselves and letting old grievances raise their ugly heads.

She's a former nun, one of the dead boys was her son, and she's making the trip with them.  She's plays at being mute and draws as little attention as possible.  She has a back story about a love lost.  She also has suspicions about who had the ability to tie that strange knot that held the children in.  She trusts no one and she still gets betrayed.

I found this to be a fascinating tale.   There is subplot as well as the murder mystery.  You get the flavor of life back in the medieval times.  And there's a bit of fact within the story.  It made a nice mix.

The author's words have a good flow and the story line will keep you reading.  If you like history and a good mystery, this is a book for you.

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