Feona J Hamilton
Boson Books, 2002
In 1264 the barons led by Simon de Montfort and those loyal to King Henry III seem inevitably heading towards civil war over the issue of divine right of the monarch. In Lewes, BELASET'S DAUGHTER Judith should be preparing for her upcoming nuptials to Aaron. Instead she sees the dispute between Henry and Simon as a chance to revenge the bloody massacre of her father and other family as well as other Jews incited by the baron a decade ago.
As a messenger disguised as a male working for the King, Judith travels back and forth across the Channel to France returning with a message. However, her final defiance leads to de Montfort's followers seeking to prevent Judith from delivering the message to Henry's supporters.
BELASET'S DAUGHTER is a tremendous historical fiction tale that employs mostly real persona and events including the Battle at Lewes to provide a powerful fictionalized account of events during that time period. The story line is filled with espionage and other action yet adheres to what is known in the thirteenth century to include the Jews (Belaset and Judith apparently really lived and an actual genocide pogrom occurred). The novel provides sub-genre fans with deep insight into a pivotal period inside an exciting tale that deserves sequels at least leading to the 1290-expulsion edict.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner