If you are a fan of historical fiction, particularly in the medieval era, and you enjoy a good mystery, then you will love this book. Set in Kent, England, in 1351, we get a glimpse into the world after the plague had wreaked havoc on the land and its people, threatening to upend the social classes and the system of governance.
Into this maelstrom of peasant rebellion and hapless or tyrannical lords, we are confronted with the murder of a newborn child, the finger of blame pointed at a local misfit. Oswald de Lacy, a young man newly come into power, having been intended for the church as the youngest son, struggles to maintain control over his land and tenants while investigating the murder, protecting the man he felt was not responsible and getting hassled by his overlord and own mother and sister.
For me, the book was easy to read and compelling. I enjoyed it, even though the subject matter was dark. It also felt 'real', with the sensibilities and beliefs of the people who lived in those times, rather than modern sensibilities transposed onto hose-wearing, horse-riding people who happened to live in medieval times. Though it is the second book of the series and I've not read the first, I found it easy to understand who was who and the events from the first book are explained in the second.
As far as rating the book, I give it 4 and a half stars, and the half star is due to the fact that I thought the ending was a bit rushed. A little more time could have been spent on the aftermath of the events and the revelations.