The Red Velvet Turnshoe: Book summary and reviews of The Red Velvet Turnshoe by Cassandra Clark

The Red Velvet Turnshoe

by Cassandra Clark

The Red Velvet Turnshoe by Cassandra Clark X
The Red Velvet Turnshoe by Cassandra Clark
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2009
    288 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

In the midst of a long, bleak winter in the year 1383, flooding brought famine, famine brought disease, and The Black Death visited town after town.

Into this watery world, against a background of plague and the turmoil of the Hundred Years' War, a brave and brilliant nun, Abbess Hildegard, embarks on a quest for a precious relic, the Cross of Constantine.

Strong-willed and independent, she will need remarkable skills to survive. For with the English Crown at stake, there are many who want her mission to fail—and one, above all, who plans a deadly revenge.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The author paints an authentic picture of late medieval life...enough questions remain at the end to leave readers eagerly anticipating the next installment." - Publishers Weekly

"[M]edieval Europe comes alive with Clark's vivid descriptions of historical settings. Fresh, memorable characters and well-researched background offset a rather overused story line." - Library Journal

"I found this really engrossing storyline a real joy to read. The brilliantly researched historical background really transports you back into the 14th century. The author uses technical words from the period (there is a glossary at the back) to really add to the gripping atmospheric detail. ... I will have no hesitation in including it in my top five best reads of 2009." - Eurocrime.co.uk

"The story is ingenious, the plotting is suspenseful, the characters are portrayed with depth and subtlety, the writing is atmospheric. Cassandra Clark’s novel is literary, detailed, and thoroughly researched." - The Historical Novel Society

"This is wonderful stuff, even better than the first with masses of historical detail and a thrilling, past-paced plot. It is as exciting a find as CJ Sansom was. Highly recommended." - The Bookseller (UK)

"Clark’s worldly nun has a degree of freedom other women of the period wouldn’t have enjoyed, and her arduous journey across the Alps is presented in convincing detail; the travellers wear horn masks to protect their eyes from the snowy light. Hildegard’s status gives her access to the most powerful men of the period, few of whom share her compassion, making her the moral centre of a world in turmoil. Clark’s Abbess of Meaux series has echoes of Sansom's novels, but her protagonist is warmer and less embittered." - Sunday Times (UK)

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Author Information

Cassandra Clark Author Biography

Cassandra Clark was awarded an M.A. from the University of East Anglia, and went on to teach for the Open University on the Humanities Foundation course. Since then she has written full time as a playwright and has been the author of many contemporary romances as well as the libretti for several chamber operas. She lives and works in London, and explains that her childhood in the East Riding of Yorkshire was her inspiration for the stories.

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