Title: Belle’s Song
Author: K.M. Grant
Publication Date: Feb 2011
Paperbook: 296 Pages
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Review Copy
Guest Review by Jo
RATING: 6/10 – Good, would probably recommend
When Belle meets Luke, son of an alchemist and Scribe to the famous poet Chaucer, she is determined to travel with him to Canterbury on a pilgrimage. She hopes for a miracle: that her father will walk again. She also hopes to atone for her own part in his accident. It is a time of unrest across the country and the young King Richard II is just hanging on to his throne. A malign character on the pilgrimage suspects Chaucer of treason and slowly winds Belle into a political intrigue. At the same time, the impulsive Belle is drawn towards both Luke and to Walter, the wealthy son of a Knight. But Walter himself is in love with Luke…As the uprising against the King starts to draw pace and the web of intrigue around Belle and Chaucer tightens, Belle and her friends must risk everything to save their country and themselves..
Belle is the only child of a bellfounder, living in London in 1387. An accident leads to her father unable to walk and when she meets a group of pilgrims, including Chaucer, Belle decides to join them on their pilgrimage to Canterbury to pray for her father to be healed.
While there is romance, I would say that the romance is only a small part of the book. The plot alongside Belle’s pilgimage is about politics, and the uneasy feeling towards King Richard II. enjoyed seeing it unfold between Belle, Luke, who is Chaucer’s scribe and Walter, a son of a wealthy Knight. I thought it was brilliant to have a different love triangle to one you would expect, it’s a very welcome one and to see it
Belle’s group of friends and pilgirms are all likeable and well written and I loved that Chaucer is a character here, it made me want to go and read The Canterbury Tales again! The ending was very satisfactory, and I loved Belle’s strength and the way she deals with the book’s villain, who is suitably slimy.
For me there were a few historical inaccuracies, but I did quickly pass over them because I was into the story far too much to let them bother me. However, for a 296 page book, there is a lot going on. The politics and the court intrigue can feel slightly too detailed for such a short book. The historical setting is gorgeously written, though and I could almost see Canterbury.
A very detailed, but enjoyable quick read that will keep you turning the page to the end.
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