Arriving in the royal city of Cynegil just after the good king s death, Liam and his traveling troupe face arrest for entertaining during a time of mourning. The new king, Riordan, offers them a choice: play for the court as he demands or be punished for the crime. With little recourse, they acquiesce. While the troupe entertains within the hall, Liam witnesses the dissension between the king and his twin brother, Shamus. When Shamus enlists Liam to record the kingdom s history from his own viewpoint, the king becomes suspicious. And when Liam becomes involved with Molly, the mysterious redheaded washerwoman, and Tristan, the royal soldier with a deadly secret and a skill for causing unfortunate accidents, his life becomes even more complicated. As the kingdom staggers beneath drought, famine, and conflict, Liam and Shamus must flee Cynegil with prices on their heads. Will they survive their journey or will they become just another ballad to be sung?
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Marissa Ames crosses genres to write both fantasy fiction and to blog for several venues, including a national poultry magazine. Her Tir Athair series incorporates a love of fantasy and a lifetime fascination with medieval history. Marissa lives in Reno, NV, where she manages a husband and two teenage children, a day job, and an entire urban farm.Review:
The feudal society that Ames has created, the intrigues involved in the opposing twin royal brothers, and the unlikely heroism of the minstrel, Liam, are wonderfully thought out and beautifully crafted. Rather than the lofty idealism that surrounds many fantasy landscapes, there is a grit and grime that is just as enchanting in the city of Cynegil. The world the author has created lives and breathes amongst the pages of her book. I highly recommend Minstrel, and I can't wait to read her next book, Vassal. -- 5 stars, Reviewed by Tania Staley for Readers' Favorite
Minstrel is a story of music, morality, love and politics in a troubled age. When a young troubadour gets involved in telling the story of an aspiring ruler, his life of hunger and want is replaced with a much more dangerous game. Minstrel is a bittersweet tale that sings with detail, drama, and captures the broad sweep of good historical storytelling. Five stars. --Daniel Swensen, author of Burn
Minstrel was a fantastic read, up there with the greats like Terry Goodkind, George R. R. Martin and James Clemens. Ames weaves a tale that's gripping in its story telling and also with the suspense and intensity of her characters. --Jean Booth, author of the Origins of the Supernaturals and Zombie Wars series
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Book Description R.J. Reign Press, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110615878539