Ranulf is called the Black Knight for good reason. He defeats all challengers in the joust and he broods – on the death of his wife and his guilt. When he meets the Lady of the Lilies – a princess from far Cathay - he is intrigued and his mood lightens. The Princess always goes veiled and her clothes are exotic scraps of fine cloth, which she fashions in her own style. Who is she and why does she follow the tourney? Torn between the Princess and a little brown maid he saw peeping at him on the riverbank, Ranulf is determined to solve the mystery.
Edith and her people have run from a cruel master. In a land stalked by pestilence they have to find a way to survive both the Black Death and hunger, and they live in fear of discovery by their old lord. Only the Lady of the Lilies and her mystery stand between them and a terrible punishment. But perhaps now there is a new saviour in the person of the Black Knight. Can Ranulf keep them safe and lead them to a new life?
The time of the Black Death was terrible for people in England and Europe. Townsend treats this period with honesty and sympathy. Parts of the book are perhaps dark because of the period but there is also a great deal of humour, fun and sensuality in this book, which should delight Townsend’s fans. I found it a thoroughly enjoyable read and the equal of her earlier knight books. This author is one to be followed as she carves a prominent place for herself on the historical list. If you enjoy medieval you must read this, because it is one of the best.
This book completely deserves its five red roses.