Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
The Canterbury Papers: A Novel (Alais Capet) Paperback – January 4, 2005
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
This engaging medieval suspense debut is alternately playful and sober in its exploration of the power maneuvers and backstabbing of the royal families of England and France. The story, set in the early 1200s, is narrated by Princess Alais Capet, a bored and somewhat bitter member of the French nobility, long passed over for both matrimony and higher status. Alas is approached by Queen Eleanor, who asks her to retrieve a secret and highly personal cache of letters hidden in England's Canterbury Cathedral. Eleanor won't explain the importance of the letters, but in return for salvaging them, she promises to divulge family secrets that Alas could use to her advantage. Alais, frustrated by the slow and tiresome life at the French court, agrees to run the errand, but when she reaches Canterbury, she finds not only the letters missing but a trail of dead bodies in her wake. Just as she is about to depart for home, she's abducted and taken prisoner by King John, an inept and insecure leader who views Alais as an important pawn in his attempts to strengthen his tenuous grip on the throne. Healey's well-researched historical drama many of the characters and circumstances are based on real-life models delights in poking fun at the stuffiness and misbehavior that characterized the royal families of the time. The pace may be a little too leisurely for some readers, but Alais's tart, wry perspective makes this age-old story fresh and absorbing.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Debut novelist Healey brings medieval history to life in magnificent fashion as she adds a new twist to an old legend. An elderly Eleanor of Aquitaine requests that her former ward, Alais Capet, the sister of the king of France, travel to Canterbury and retrieve a cache of letters Eleanor had hidden in the cathedral there years earlier. Alais is reluctant, but Eleanor dangles an irresistible carrot in front of her: a promise of information about the whereabouts of Alais' illegitimate child. The French princess undertakes the dangerous task, only to be kidnapped by a desperate King John. Alais must unravel an intricately tangled web of family intrigue and deception that could lead either to a reunion with her lost son or to her own destruction. Plagued by infidelity and mistrust, petty jealousy and political rivalry, the infamously dysfunctional Plantagenets plot and scheme against one another in this electrifying journey into the past. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 40%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
But there were a few things I didn't like about this book. The first is that it took too long to get to the action of the book. I was almost halfway through before the book held my attention completely. My second and third complaints go together: a) the book felt like it ended too abruptly, and b) I wish we could have seen an actual resolution to Alais and William. I almosy understand why we couldn't see a further storyline with Alais; she was an actual historical figure, so the author couldn't go rewriting history. However, I feel that there could have been more after the final scenes with Eleanor.
Other than those minor complaints, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I would recommend it to others who like this time period.
I just learned that there is a sequel to this novel, so I can hopefully revise my opinion of The Canterbury Papers and that the sequel lives up to the first.
Taking with her only the messenger, Owain ap Caedwyd, a seasoned soldier, and a few knights proffered by Philippe, Alais sets out to accomplish Eleanor`s unusual task. En route to Canterbury, Alais observes some suspicious riders not far behind their party. When she meets her uncle, the Duke d'Orleans, at the inn where they retire, the French princess is suspicious, pondering the extraordinary activity to and from the famed cathedral. From the first chapter, we learn that Alais is spirited away while on her mission to Canterbury, but the identity of her captors is a mystery, as is the significance of Eleanor's request and why Alais Capet has become the focus of recent interest.
So begins an adventure that brings into play the early figures of the early 12th Century, King John of England, King Philippe of France, Eleanor of Aquitane and the Knights Templar, who have their eyes on the misanthropic John's throne. The author captures the era with her descriptions of place, the castles, cathedrals, countryside and the differential language of those dealing with royalty. Alais is an educated, observant woman past the years of early bloom, but still at the height of her beauty, made wiser by experience, especially the unrequited love of Richard the Lionheart and the crushing disappointment of their cancelled nuptials. Alais is no frivolous royal, but a woman with a past that now beckons, long-forgotten issues reawakened to torment her with a hope too devastating and uncertain to bear.
The novel addresses court intrigue on several levels, the usual machinations of kingship, but also the undercurrents of historical events that reach from one generation to another, secret societies and religious cabals operating under the guise of nobility. This is the stage of great figures, the Capets, the Plantagenets, the kingdoms of France and England vying for dominance in the great age of chivalry. Like other successful novels of this genre, Healey intimately inhabits her subject, drawing the reader into the spirit of the times, invested in Alais' assignation with destiny and the resolution of her most profound hope. This engaging tale gallops through the labyrinthine passageways of medieval conceits, racing across time with all the antics of larger-than-life historical figures. Luan Gaines/2005.
Cons: I sussed out the denouement while barely halfway through; we told that the narrator is a rather formidable, ornery, headstrong woman, but little in her actions or narration bore that out--as a character she didn't live up to her in-story reputation
My Blog : [...]