What It’s About:
England, 1176. Aelred Barling, esteemed clerk to the justices of King Henry II, is dispatched from the royal court with his young assistant, Hugo Stanton, to investigate a brutal murder in a village outside York.Goodreads
The case appears straightforward. A suspect is under lock and key in the local prison, and the angry villagers are demanding swift justice. But when more bodies are discovered, certainty turns to doubt—and amid the chaos it becomes clear that nobody is above suspicion.
Facing growing unrest in the village and the fury of the lord of the manor, Stanton and Barling find themselves drawn into a mystery that defies logic, pursuing a killer who evades capture at every turn.
Can they solve the riddle of who is preying upon the villagers? And can they do it without becoming prey themselves?
The King’s Justice was so much fun to read! I am a big fan of medieval mysteries. They are actually what lead me to develop a love for historical fiction. My first medieval mystery series that I read was The Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin and it has been hard for me to find a series that has come close to that experience. It is also an interesting coincidence that both series take place in England during the reign of Henry II.
There is not one negative thing that I have to say about this book. I liked the two main characters, Stanton and Barling. They have every different personalities, experiences, and outlooks but still make a good team. I enjoyed seeing their investigative partnership and skills come together to solve the mystery. The other characters were entertaining with lots of conflict, drama, and secrets. The story had a great pace and I read through this story quickly. It was just under 300 pages long. E.M. Powell gave just enough historical information to have a solid setting but kept the focus on the characters and plot.
The author kept me on my toes and I was constantly trying to figure out who the killer was! I had fun trying to piece the clues together. After certain clues or moments happened, I would talk to my husband about what was going on in the story. It’s not very often that I share what I’m reading with him but he enjoys mysteries and he seemed interested in the mystery. The ending was great in that I was surprised at who the killer was and many secrets were brought to light after he was caught. Everything just clicked into place.
My rating might be a little biased cause of my personal interests in medieval mysteries (as mentioned earlier). I gave The King’s Justice five stars because I just had a great time reading it. It has been awhile since I have felt this kind of excitement from a book. I bought the next two books in the series and look forward to reading them!