Books by K.M. Grant

BELLE'S SONG by K.M. Grant
FICTION
Released: Nov. 22, 2011

"Romance, issue book and spy novel—as varied an offering as Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. (Historical fiction. 14 & up)"
Burdened by guilt over her father's accident and seeking adventure, Belle Bellfounder joins a band of medieval pilgrims on a journey to Canterbury Cathedral, finding romance and danger along the way. Read full book review >
WHITE HEAT by K.M. Grant
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

Plot advancement defers to character development in this sequel set during the 13th-century Albigensian crusade. Raimon the weaver's son, rescued from the heretics' pyre, retreats with other desperate refugees as his true love Yolanda is carried off to Paris, betrothed to another. Much to-ing and fro-ing ensues as Yolanda tries to escape, and Raimon battles attempts to claim the holy Blue Flame for either the Catholic or Cathar side. In the end, both lose everything that they thought most important but are filled with a renewed commitment to Occitanian independence and to each other. While competently crafted, this trilogy lacks any special merit to stand out amid the current glut of Cathar fiction. It wears its research lightly, relying upon well-chosen details to convey the flavor of medieval life. The antagonists are given complex and sympathetic portrayals, while the heroes struggle as much with their own flaws as with the forces opposing them. Alas, this volume continues the twee conceit of making the land itself the narrator and forces several unlikely coincidences to move the story along. Purchase where the first volume is popular. (Historical fiction. 12-16)Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2008

The allure of glorious lost causes inspires a tale set in 1242 amid the doomed heresy-fueled Occitan resistance to the French monarchy and the Church. Cathar commoner Raimon and Catholic noble Yolanda, rapt in their budding romance, care little for politics and religion. They share a devotion to their homeland, its songs, dances and legends, most especially the stories of the holy Blue Flame, destined to protect Languedoc. But the times plunge them headlong into a tightening net of intrigue, inquisition and betrayal, and both will have to decide whether their loyalty belongs to their people or to each other. The impeccably researched details reveal a deep appreciation for the region and its culture. Indeed, the narrator is the countryside itself, a stylistic choice that casts an oddly distancing effect upon the unfolding drama. The main characters bear the burden of representing their respective "sides," leaving enlivening personality quirks to the various secondary personages. Even if too many improbable coincidences drive the plot, and the conclusion is an obvious setup for the sequel, it is unlikely that fans of medieval adventure will mind. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2005

A British import reminds us that there are historical potboilers for the young even as there are for their parents in this overblown and under-plotted first of a trilogy. From 1185 to 1193, readers follow hot-blooded and hard-hearted Gavin, his younger brother William, bright and compassionate, and their father's ward Eleanor. Thomas de Granville, the boys' father, goes on Crusade with King Richard Lionheart; his sons go with him and Eleanor stays behind to learn to read and fend off a slimy suitor. The most vivid character is Hosanna, the red horse of the title, a fierce, intelligent, graceful animal who carries William to Jerusalem and back during the Crusaders' battles with the leader Saladin (a historical trope handled far more compellingly by Catherine Jinks in Pagan's Crusade, 2003). The human characters have little depth or energy—21st-century cardboard cutouts set in a medieval frame. On the other hand, it is a page-turner, as Hosanna overcomes mistreatment, attack and injury to inspire both William and Saladin's assistant Kamil, into whose hands the horse briefly falls. (Historical fiction. 10+)Read full book review >