What secrets lie hidden in the Medieval college of Kineton and Dacre…?
Master mason Simon of Kineton is building his magnum opus: a great college to rival any in England.
But the Bishop of Salster, hostile to free education, is determined to sabotage Simon’s project.
When rumours spread that the mason’s son is cursed, the bishop sees an opportunity to undermine both Simon and the college.
And everything Simon has worked so hard for could end up crumbling down around him…
Damia Miller has been employed to promote penniless Kineton and Dacre college.
Delving into the college’s history, she becomes captivated by the vast grotesque painting that has recently been uncovered during renovations.
It soon becomes clear to Damia that the painting holds the key to the past – a past which could reveal exactly what she’s been searching for…
This is a fresh, clever book. We have two timelines – 1385 and 2019. Although six and a half centuries separate them, there is so much that’s similar: rivalry, the importance of education, strong personalities, families that are a little different from normal, intolerance and commitment. These elements and the apparently separate plots link begin to entwine firmly as the story progresses and the mystery of that painting is slowly solved.
Simon and Damia are the lead characters, one in each timeline. It is they who hold the action together in their sections of the book, but Damia is the overall lynchpin. It’s she who brings everything to fulfilment. She’s a very interesting heroine. Like Simon she’s unconventional in her outlook, opinionated and dedicated. We become very interested in seeing her at work and watching how her character develops.
The background to the historical element of the book has clearly been very carefully researched and we get a convincing sense of the period and the beliefs and politics of the time. The modern era is just as vibrantly and realistically portrayed.
The author has a clear, direct style that is easy and enjoyable to read. The plot is interesting and well constructed. All in all this is an absorbing and satisfying book.