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Shield of Three Lions: A Novel Paperback – July 23, 2002

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4 Stars and Up Feature: Kitchens of the Great Midwest
"Foodies and those who love contemporary literature will devour this novel that is being compared to Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge. A standout." --Library Journal Learn more
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A lively romance . . . a rich picture of a romantic time . . . [Kaufman’s] detailed descriptions of a bawdy land and its people are matched well by her touching and humorous portrait of an adolescent coming to terms with her own womanhood.”—USA Today

“A romantic, sensual, ribald, rowdy—and often hilarious—tale.” —Los Angeles Herald

From the Inside Flap

The return of a classic, by bestselling author Pamela Kaufman.

?Richly rewarding, superbly written. . . . The richness of the characters, the historical details, and the story as a whole make this novel a memorable reading experience.??Chicago Sun-Times

Eleven-year-old Alix is the daughter of the baron of Wanthwaite, whose lands along the Scottish border are among the best in England. But when her family is killed and her lands seized, Alix is forced to flee from the only home she?s ever known. Her one hope of restoring her inheritance is to plead her case to King Richard the Lion Heart, who is far away in France, preparing to go on his Crusade. Alix resolves to follow him. She cuts her hair, dresses as a boy, and takes the road south to London.

Disguised as a beautiful young boy, Alix is more than befriended by the handsome and mysterious King Richard, even becoming his favorite page. Their relationship sets tongues wagging and places Alix in considerable danger as the battle for Jerusalem unfolds.


From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (July 23, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609809466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609809464
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,250,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Lilly Flora VINE VOICE on November 20, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the first few pages of this book and was tempted to put it down. The main character was annoying, the dialog seemed stupid and very strange and it was all just depressing me. But I stayed with it, and I'm glad I did.

This is the story of Alix. Her father is a baron along the Scottish border, but when he and her mother are killed in a vicious attack by Scots, her life turns upside down. Her father, in a deathbed conversation, begs Alix to somehow get the land returned to her. He suggests she appeal to the King, Henry. He also suggests that she dress as a boy on the roads, to avoid being raped. She does this, and pretends to be an eight year old boy, instead of the twelve year old girl she is, and heads out for London.

Once on the road Alix quickly hooks up with Enoch, a young Scot heading to the university in Paris. She becomes his traveling companion, and he helps her when it becomes clear she's being pursued by men intent on killing her. Of course, Enoch has no idea Alix is a girl.

Once in London the two learn that the king is dead, and his son, Richard the lion heart, is king in his place. But the new King Richard is intent on going on crusade to the holy land, and Alix must speak to him get her land back. Soon she and Enoch are in Paris, and once having made a bond of brotherhood, they head off to the Crusades.

Alix quickly becomes a favorite page of the kings, and she pays no head to the gossip about him and young men and instead believes that he can see she's a girl, and maybe loves her...

This story is endearing, exciting and historical accurate. On reflection, the seemingly annoying vocabulary of the characters is just right for the time period, as is Alix's most unladylike behavior.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By LCW VINE VOICE on June 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the story of Alix, whose happy sheltered world crumbles when at age 10 her parents murdered by a vicious English knight and her family estate is ransacked. Alix obeys the dying instructions from her father to disguise herself as a boy, hide the family treasure, travel to London, and plead for justice to King Henry. Along the way Alix, now Alex, meets Enoch, a rough and tumble Scottsman who is on his way to study at the University. Enoch learns (well, sort of) Alex's identity and demands that in exchange for his company and protection he should get half the estate. Of course Alex balks but has little alternatives and they make agreement and seal it with a Scottish ceremony making them blood "brothers". Eventually they begin to truly care for each other and a love/hate relationship develops.

Alex learns that King Henry is dead and now she must appeal her case to to the new King, Richard the Lionheart. Trying to track down Richard proves to be a problem and Alex, still travelling with Enoch, falls in with a band of travelling performers who promise to secure an audience with the king if he (really "she" but they don't know that) plays Cupid in their plays. With no other options, Alex agree's and eventually meets the King. He takes an instant liking to Alex, hears her case (although she leaves out the fact that she is in fact a she), but decides Alex is to young to run his estate alone. King Richard takes Alex into his household as a page planning to become personal mentor to him until he reaches maturity. Alex accompanies Richard on crusade where their relationship deepens and through one gigantic misunderstanding begin a quasi-romance of sorts.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By jeanplaidyfan on October 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is the prequel to Banners of Gold, also written by Pamela Kaufman. It may be a little hard to track down, but it usually turns up in second hand bookstores etc, (Amazon may even find you a copy)! It is one of THE BEST books I have read in the historical fiction genre. (For those who are interested, it is on par with "In A Dark Wood Wandering" by Hella S Haasse. Also worth tracking down). I'm not going to give too much away of the story, suffice to say it is set in the time of Richard 1 - the main character (Alix, who is enchanting & believable), after becoming an orphan, must travel to the Holy Land with the Crusade of Richard 1, & the story follows what happens. I loved this book & I'm sure anyone who is interested in medieval historical fiction won't be disappointed. I can highly recommend this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. G Jackson on July 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
I was delighted with this altogether surprising and original historical romance.

First of all, if you want to explore the well-known homosexuality of Richard I, it is difficult in the context of the times to imagine a genuine, sexual story given the vastly different times he lived in. Kaufman has boldly imagined a love story between the King and a young page, fitting with the ancient custom of mentoring young boys. Except that the page is a girl, our heroine, caught in the middle of another story altogether, of swashbuckling and courtly intrigue as she attempts to regain the lands stolen from her family in the north of England, and it all leads to the Third Crusade and the siege of Acre.

The entire story appeared to be impeccably researched and vividly imagined by Kaufman who, again, is confident enough to explore equally the power struggles and political rivalries of English and French involvment in the Holy Land, as well as the sexual machinations of Richard The Lion's boudoir. A long book, it is constantly engaging and fast-paced, very much a traditional historical adventure with a clear-eyed heroine who is both of her time and terribly modern.
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