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  • Bladesong

    I love this authors writing! Her books helps me out together the historical characters into a timeline and enjoy the story as it unfolds.

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  • Bladesong

    Great book! Equals or exceeds anything on the bookstore rackd. Will definitely try her other books

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  • Who is the player, and who is being played?

    Bladesong, the second book of Jean Gill’s Troubadours Quartet, finds Dragonetz imprisoned, watched over by deferential guards who speak Arabic. He knows that he was ambushed and knocked unconscious in the port of St Jean d’Acre en route to Jerusalem. Quite an embarrassment for the Christian knight, whose involvement in the second crusade has earned him the nickname, Lord Dragonetz the brave. He was captured carrying a precious copy of the Torah, which he must return to its rightful owners, the Jews, in order to have his debts cancelled. But who his captors are and what their plans for him might be is a mystery. Whilst imprisoned, Dragonetz is visited by Bar Philipos, a man he feels obligated towards, who teaches him chess. In this tale of many players, where it is never quite clear who is friend and who is foe, where to befriend the wrong people would be to sign your own death warrant, and where a person who thinks they are a player may find that they have been played, the author could have not made a more appropriate choice of game. Meanwhile, left without news for months on end, troubadour Estela gives birth to Dragonetz’s child – a son she names Txamusca, who must for now remain a secret. A son threatens her brother’s inheritance, something he will not tolerate. When news of the child’s birth leaks, Estela reluctantly accepts that she has no option but to send him away, for his safety and for hers. But then, what seems like good news – de Rancon arrives at court, sent by Dragonetz to bring Estela to him in Jerusalem, where they are both to sing for Queen Melisende. It is only after they have embarked on the arduous journey that de Rancon confides that Estela may find Dragonetz a changed man. And as she hears of first-hand account of Dragonetz’s involvement in the ill-fated crusade, Estela cannot help but question how well she actually knows him. Jean Gill proves herself an agile writer, keeping her readers in thrall as Estela ventures unwittingly into danger, not knowing that she is being used as a pawn. At the same time, Gill brings to life the various factions who would make a power-play for control of Damascus, all understanding that to have Dragonetz leading their armies would mean the difference between success and failure. The author Gill is in complete control of all of the players on the board. Rest assured, when the time comes, it is she who calls checkmate.

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