The Lady and the Squire
Having left his village in 19th-century England—tired of learning Latin and digging ditches—Tom now finds himself in France employed as a squire to Henry, Duke of Lancaster. But Tom’s job proves tedious, so when an encounter with the Man in Black presents an opportunity for escape, Tom again makes a dash for freedom. This time he is accompanied by the beautiful but troublesome Lady Emilia De Valois—and, of course, supported by his dear friend and ally Squire “Alan.” Love is in the air as Tom continues his quest to become a knight in shining armor and to fulfill his dreams of tournaments won and distant lands traveled. But, as fortune would have it, Tom is called upon to use his talents to help the starving people of France and, with the giant Anton, is persuaded to make a detour to visit none other than Pope Innocent VI!
If you have ever sat astride a man-eating shark and dangled bits of raw flesh in front of it as the creature starts to plunge down into the dark abyss of the sea, taking you with it, you’d have a pretty good idea of how Tom felt in his new job as a squire to Henry, Duke of Lancaster.
Looking for a spot of adventure with a dash of humour, a ripple of horror and even a droplet of history? Then it is probably time to take a little trip through Medieval France with the Tom and Ann as they get caught in the chaos of war, kidnap, cannibalism and (as if it were possible) much much more as they continue the not so illustrious journey they began in the superb The Knight and the Squire.
Terry Jones is on top form in this rollicking tale that delivers what it promises—a fine adventure story with a hefty dose of historical detail thrown in for good measure—with enviable(but nonetheless expected) aplomb, bringing the savagery and uncertainty of Medieval life into the spotlight while making excellent use of the familiar and superlative Terry Jones’ wit.
This is a great book, and young, confident readers who enjoy a challenging and unusual read will revel in it. —Susan Harrison