Historical specialist Clare (The Joys of My Life, 2009, etc.) begins her new series in 1087, when William Rufus has just assumed the throne of England and quelled a rebellion.
In a small Fenland village, Lassair, who has the uncanny ability to find lost objects and dowse for water, is thrilled to be learning healing skills from her aunt Edild, who’s skilled in the ways of the old Gods. Lassair is celebrating the wedding of her sister Goda when Romain, an attractive stranger, arrives. While she is caring for Goda, Romain returns with Sibert, a friend from Lassair’s village, and begs her to join them to search for a valuable object. Happy to get away from Goda, whose pregnancy seems designed specifically to make everyone around her miserable, she agrees. A three-day trip leads them to the sea and the former home of Sibert’s ancestors, which the Norman overlords granted to Romain’s family. There Lassair discovers a golden crown with hidden powers buried near an underwater tree trunk. Romain plans on using the crown to convince the king to return the land his family lost in the rebellion. But Lassair and Sibert take the crown and leave him behind. When he follows them and is killed, Sibert is accused of the crime, and it takes all Lassair’s courage to help prove him innocent.
A treat that’s full of the mysticism, period detail and mystery Clare’s readers have come to expect.