King John is being foolish, fighting against the barons of the land for what is best for England. Eventually agreeing to sign the Magna Carta created by the barons, the king has plans to alter the agreement to better suit his whims. However, foreseeing such deception the men have another copy made and are seeking the assistance of a well-educated scribe to create more. Sir Richard is sent to find someone who is up to this monumental task and discovers Jocelyn- a young woman who has lived her life disguised as a monk at a local abbey, who has the talent he seeks. Getting her safely to the keep proves challenging, and with each obstacle Sir Richard’s feelings grow fonder while Jocelyn realizes she has seen too much of the world and may not be able to return to the abbey.

A fascinating and beautifully crafted novel which gives the readers a healthy desire to stay in the story, though it withers slightly by the end leading to a mild, lingering curiosity of the characters’ lives. The vocabulary used throughout the story truly grasps the vernacular of the timeframe being portrayed adding an incredible layer of realism. The people are strong-willed, stubborn, and written to each possess their own quirks making it easy to understand and relate with several of the characters. There is never any doubt as to the time or location of events, and the hero is one any woman would trip over herself to make her presence known. A gem for those wanting to see love and loyalty prevail over all circumstances!

Yannie Sorensen