Ex-Crusader, now trader in holy relics and general sword for hire, Sir Richrad Straccan has lost the woman he loved to his enemies. His first task is
to find her. His second, to escort the great bell, Gaudete, to its resting place in Durham. His third to save from her enemies a young woman, the Gleemaiden of the title, and the mysterious child she protects.
I loved this book. I had no problem with the speech being modern English – I read Chaucer in Old English; that was enough. Even so, I felt it conveyed such a excellent sense of the time – the violence and brutality of the Crusades, the complete domination of the Church over people’s lives and yet their belief in magical powers and the lack of hygiene. But there was also humor and the wonderful character of Sir Richard. It also has one of the all-time best opening lines; “Countess Judith kept her husband’s head in a box.” I have already sought out and ordered the first two books of this series and have added Ms. Hamilton, who has a delightful bio in the back of the book, to my “must buy” list.