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A Richly Told Story of Courage - an Editorial Review of "The Queen's Scribe"

Book Blurb:

A broken promise. A bitter conflict. And a woman’s elusive chance to love or die.

1458. Young Frenchwoman Estelle de Montavon sails to Cyprus imagining a bright future as tutor to a princess. Instead, she is betrayed by those she loves most—and forced into a dangerous new world of scheming courtiers, vicious power struggles, and the terrifying threat of war.

Determined to flee, Estelle enlists the help of an attractive and mysterious falconer. But on the eve of her escape, fortune’s wheel turns again. She gains entry to Queen Charlotta’s inner circle as a trusted scribe and interpreter, fighting her way to dizzying heights of influence.

Enemies old and new rise from the shadows as Estelle navigates a royal game of cat and mouse between the queen and her powerful half-brother, who wants the throne for himself.

When war comes to the island, she faces a brutal reckoning for her loyalty to the queen. Will the impossible choice looming ahead be Estelle’s doom—or her salvation?

With this richly-told story of courage, loyalty, and the sustaining power of love, Amy Maroney brings a mesmerizing and forgotten world to vivid life. The Queen’s Scribe is a stand-alone novel in the Sea and Stone Chronicles collection.

Amy Maroney is the author of the award-winning Miramonde Series, the story of a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern day scholar on her trail.

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Author Bio:

Amy Maroney lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family, and spent many years as a writer and editor of nonfiction before turning her hand to historical fiction. When she's not diving down research rabbit holes, she enjoys hiking, dancing, traveling, and reading. Amy is the author of the award-winning Miramonde Series, a trilogy about a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern-day scholar on her trail. Amy's new romantic suspense series, Sea and Stone Chronicles, is set in medieval Rhodes and Cyprus. To receive a free prequel novella to the Miramonde Series, join Amy's readers' group at (Just copy and paste into your browser.)

Editorial Review:

When the invitation had come for her from King Jean to join the Cypriot court as tutor to his daughter, Princess Charlotte, Maman had been enthusiastic – but she'd never said a word about marriage. Neither had Papa. Both her parents had seen the king's invitation as a great honor. For her part, Estelle had agreed to the plan with both trepidation and excitement. Though she dreaded leaving her family, the thought of being companion to a princess and earning a salary from the royal court of Cyprus made her pride swell.

In the vivid story spun by Amy Maroney's "The Queen’s Scribe: Sea and Stone Chronicles," a medieval saga unfurls against the tumultuous backdrop of mid-fifteenth-century Cyprus. Maroney, a maestro of storytelling akin to the impassioned prose of classic writers, intricately threads a tale around Estelle de Montavon, a spirited young Frenchwoman ensnared within the tangle of the island's politics, intrigue, and love.

Amidst the captivating panorama of Cyprus—a crossroads of cultures and civilizations—Maroney paints a vivid tableau of Estelle's odyssey. Departing her kin in Rhodes, Estelle embarks on a sojourn to Cyprus, destined to serve as tutor to Princess Charlotta. Yet, upon arrival, she confronts a dismaying reality—the demise of Charlotta's Portuguese prince husband, leaving the princess indifferent to learning French. Trapped within the confines of her quarters, Estelle feels akin to a captive yearning for freedom, longing to reunite with her family in France.

However, destiny's hand spins a different narrative as the kingdom plunges into disarray following the deaths of the king and queen. Queen Charlotta and her illegitimate half-brother engage in a power struggle, compelling the island's denizens to pledge their allegiance. Navigating treacherous waters, Estelle finds herself in the queen's favor, deftly maneuvering through the tempestuous currents of shifting allegiances and political machinations ensnaring the Cypriot court.

Think, don't cry. This bethrothal could never go forward. Papa would not approve. She would write to him at once, send the letter with a Hospitaller agent. And she would seek out Sir Hector, plead her case. He had shown her sympathy once. Surely, he could do it again. If he refused to help her and the betrothal proceeded, there would be only one solution. Escape.

Beneath the turbulent surface, Maroney unveils the labyrinthine corridors of Estelle's heart. The young scribe grapples not merely with the tumultuous political landscape but also with the profound emotions kindled for a young under-falconer. Despite her resolve, she finds herself inexorably drawn to him, entangling her already complex circumstances in further enthrallment.

Maroney's narrative mastery gleams through meticulous research, intricately woven into a tapestry that transports readers seamlessly to Cyprus during this bygone era. Her eloquent prose vividly captures the opulence of the royal court juxtaposed against the stark destitution endured by the island's common folk. The author deftly immerses us in a world rife with betrayal, shifting loyalties, and the collision of cultures—a powerful narrative encapsulating the intricate societal fabric of fifteenth-century Cyprus.

Yet, beneath the cloak of political intrigue lies a profound love story—an authentic testament to Maroney's narrative depth. The burgeoning romance between Estelle and her beloved resonates with poignant authenticity, echoing through the evocative language and emotions she artfully evokes.

Furthermore, Maroney astutely illuminates the constrained roles of women in this epoch. Despite a queen reigning over Cyprus, women's societal status remained tethered to the men they were linked with, whether by choice or coercion. The trials faced by Queen Charlotta and Estelle underscore the pervasive dominance of men in shaping women's destinies during this era, adding a deep layer to the narrative.

In "The Queen’s Scribe," Maroney delivers a spellbinding historical romance that enraptures readers, skillfully merging historical precision with an enthralling love story. As a devotee of historical romance, I wholeheartedly endorse this novel, urging fellow enthusiasts to lose themselves in this exquisite tapestry of love, politics, and history woven by the incomparable Amy Maroney.

Standing in the blazing sun, enduring the queen's scrutiny, her mind strayed to their weeks at St. Hilarion castle, to the friendship she'd imagined blossoming between them during those idyllic days. The queen had been lighthearted in the mountains, quick to smile, eager to study alongside Estelle. They had supped side by side, the queen showering Estelle with compliments. But now, weighed down by responsibility and disappointment and betrayal, her good spirits and kindness had vanished. And so had her trust in Estelle.


“The Queen's Scribe” by Amy Maroney receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence from The Historical Fiction Company



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