Your Memberships & Subscriptions
Follow the Author
Season of the Raven (Servant of the Crown Book 1) Kindle Edition
A MILLER FOUND UNDER HIS WHEEL
It’s 1194 and Sir Faucon de Ramis, the shire’s newly appointed Keeper of the Pleas, must do his duty and make an official declaration of the cause of a miller’s death. Saddled with a clerk who names Faucon his ‘penance', the shire’s first Crowner must thread the tangled relationships between the sheriff, the village of Priors Holston and the priory that once ruled it. As a simple task takes a turn to the political, what seems obvious isn’t and what appears safe turns out to be more dangerous than he could imagine.
"The author has an encyclopedic knowledge of the social conditions of the time of Richard I and a great eye for the physical aspect of the countryside as it would have appeared then and the influence of monasteries and the Church. I look forward to more stories about Faucon." John Matthews, retired British Coroner
"In this Medieval mystery of stunning realism, Domning brings the English countryside alive with all the rich detail of a Bosch painting. With well realized characters and a depth of historical detail, she creates a vibrant mystery and a layered, engaging protagonist. CSI 12th century style. I can't wait to see more."
-- Christina Skye, New York Timesbest-selling author of A Highlander for Christmas
About the Author
Gildart Jackson's acting credits span the stage and screen. He is most often recognized for his roles as Gideon on Charmed and Simon Prentiss on General Hospital. He has also starred in numerous television shows, including CSI and Vegas, and he played the lead in the highly acclaimed independent feature film You, directed by his wife, Melora Hardin.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B014OG16SU
- Publication date : August 29, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 655 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 287 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #298,569 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Five years ago Sir Faucon de Ramis left for the Holy Lands with King Richard, and now, he has returned and curious why he has been summoned by his uncle, Bishop William of Hereford. Encouraged to discover his situation as second son of the de Vere family has improved, the arrangements made between his uncle and a nobleman/half-relative appointing him Keeper of the Pleas may turn problematic. He’ll receive an annual income from Blacklea Village and the Priory of St. Radegund, but his responsibilities for the staff and upkeep of the home is his to pay, and unfortunately, to avoid any corruption, the position as “servant to the crown” has no compensation. He will record judgements for collection by the sheriffs, hold inquests, gather jurists to confirm findings, and discover and note details of all foul acts like murder, but whether finding the culprit is part of his purview is up for interpretation. However, he isn’t allowed a full night’s rest before his services are required at the mill. Halbert Miller is found lodged under the millwheel...death by misadventure seems obvious, but looks, as they say, are deceiving. Sir Crowner, as Faucon is now dubbed, uses his skill and that of Brother Colin to determine first impressions are false and the death is murder. But, as the killer may have intended, clues are hidden and connections need ferreting, and dealing with Brother Edmund may be Faucon’s greatest impediment.
Denise Domning has created a fascinating tale in “Season of the Raven,” the first book in her A Servant of the Crown series, making me an eager fan. Her writing style is engaging, rich in the cadence of the twelfth century, illustrating the medieval society with its class struggles along with the process under which justice is served, includes vivid images of the mill, the priory, and the surrounding area along with the various personalities, and enriching a compelling mystery with secrets, suspects, and subterfuge all well exposed at the end for a “Wow” conclusion. At first, I worried the prologue-type intro “Michaelmas” was lost to the drama, but my patience was well rewarded with a delightful cliffhanger. Sir Faucon, despite being hardened by battle, has an intuitive and compassionate manner, yet he commands others to respect him and know their place, like Brother Edmund whose smug, impertinent manner is made more taxing by his staunch adherence to rules. Yet despite the lack of a verbal filter, Brother Edmund knows the protocols to follow making him invaluable. Brother Colin’s skill proves most fortuitous since his work at an abbey infirmary provided him the expertise in recognizing patterns in the body’s reaction to all sorts of manner of death; acting much like a forensic scientist, he reminds me, along with his quiet manner, of Peter Ellis’ Brother Cadfael. I hope he is a reoccurring figure. The role of women is limited to wife and care giver, but Domning does portray well strong women in the image of the wives, sisters, and the alewife. This book just made my favorites for 2021!
Sir Faucon de Ramis has just returned from the Crusades fighting under King Richard the Lionhearted's banner. He's a second son and his family can boast only a moderate wealth. So, when his mother's uncle, a Bishop offers him a newly created position as Keeper of the Pleas of Warwickshire which comes with the living from the estate of Blacklea and a stipend while he is in the office, he leaps at this opportunity. Little did he know that this would have him saddled with the most annoying stickler monk who seems to forget who is the assistant and now the task of working with a forbidding sheriff. And, that was before a body was found in a nearby village...
I liked Sir Faucon right off the bat. He's young, but not lacking in intelligence or a willingness to work hard. In spite of being trained in the art of war or in being a Crusader, he is not without kindness and understanding even to the lower classes. What really struck me was that he didn't get tetchy when he was in over his head since investigating murder was obviously new to him. He had no trouble admitting ignorance and learning like when an herbalist monk shows him how to better examine a dead body for evidence or his annoying clerk gets up on his high horse. Oddly enough, the infuriating Brother Edmund who started as a thorn in Sir Faucon's side, grew on me. I will look forward to seeing this pair continue solving mysteries together throughout the series.
The historical setting and background of the characters was fleshed out fabulously. I had no trouble seeing with my mind's eye this little corner of Warwickshire or taking it in through all the senses as the author describes sounds, scents, tastes, and visuals so they were in technicolor for me.
All in all, this first outing with author and series was a resounding success. I can't wait to continue on with the rest of the series.
Top reviews from other countries
resolved at the end - obviously with the idea that the next book will tackle these loose ends.
I liked the character of Faucon, newly appointed as Crowner. This unpaid job meant that Faucon and
his reluctant clerk had to investigate any deaths, gather a sort of jury to confirm their findings and, in the
case of murder, try and find the killer.
Faucon had help from another lay priest who was familiar with death/killings (think Brother Cadfael). I
would have liked to see more of his character. I thought Faucon's discovery of the second person involved
in the Miller's death was rather too easy.
I am normally "picky" but I didn't find the old language used in the book grated (as other reviewers have
said) and didn't realize it was written by an American. I would read more about these characters and give
the book 3.5 stars.
Within hours of taking office, Faucon is faced with his first fatality and confronts the local Sherrif in a test of wills. To help him decide whether it was an accident or murder he is ably assisted by Brother Colin, the lay herbalist from the nearby Abbey and a former soldier and, to keep him aware of the rules of law, the stubborn and prickly Brother Edmund, a cleric supplied by his uncle. As his eyes are gradually opened to the nature of the hunt that each new case involves, Faucon grows in confidence and stature. This series promises much for the reader, and based on this initial offering seams certain to deliver.
Good characters, some of whom I hope are repeaters. A good story, spoiled a wee bit by a couple of them with similar names.
The beginning and end seem to have nothing to do with the rest of the book, but... all very intriguing.
It feel a bit rushed, but not enough to spoil it.
I'm looking forward to the next one, and more to come.