Alix of Wanthwaite trilogy, Crown Publishing.
Shield of Three Lions
Rights sold: US(Crown, 1983/Three Rivers Press, 2002, reissue/to be remarketed on publication of third book), Holland (Van Holkema & Warendorf), Germany (Bertelsmann) UK (New English Library)
Agents: US and Asia, Julia Lord, Europe, Jenny Meyer
First book of the Alix of Wanthwaite trilogy.
From the Washington Post Book World:
“Absolutely splendid, a complex and magically captivating work. Kaufman has given readers a wonderful heroine…A truly original and extraordinarily memorable story.”
From the jacket:
Eleven-year-old Alix is the daughter of the baron of Wanthwaite, whose lands along the Scottish border are among the best in England. But when her family is killed and her lands seized, Alix is forced to flee from the only home she’s ever known. Her one hope of restoring her inheritance is to plead her case to King Richard the Lion Heart, who is far away in France, preparing to go on his Crusade. Alix resolves to follow him. She cuts her hair, dresses as a boy, and takes the road south to London. Disguised as a beautiful young boy, Alix is more than befriended by the handsome and mysterious King Richard, even b becoming his favorite page. Their relationship sets tongues wagging and places Alix in considerable danger as the battle for Jerusalem unfolds.
Banners of Gold
Rights sold: US(Crown, 1986/Three Rivers Press, 2002, reissue 2006, Holland (Van Holkema & Warendor), Germany (Bertelsmann), UK (Hodder and Stoughton)
Agents: US and Asia, Julia Lord/Europe, Jenny Meyer
Second book of the Alix of Wanthwaite trilogy.
From the jacket:
Alix is at home at her beloved estate on the Scottish border when King Richard’s soldiers march into her castle and demand to take her to the continent with them. King Richard has been captured while on Crusade, and Alix is among the nobles whose lives will be collateral for the king’s ransom. But when she’s delivered to Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard’s mother, she is dumbfounded to learn that the queen has other plans for her. King Richard needs an heir, Eleanor tells Alix. Repulsed by his queen, a homely religious fanatic, he has told his mother that the only woman he wants is one he met on Crusade, when she was disguised as a boy. Richard wants Alix to be his mistress and the mother of the next Plantagenet king. Now a beguiling and irrepressible young woman, Alix faces more tribulations—and romance—on this trip to Europe, where affairs of the state and affairs of the heart are intricately intertwined.
The Prince of Poison
Rights sold: US (Crown, April 2006)
Agents: US and Asia, Julia Lord /Europe, Jenny Meyer
Third book of the Alix of Wanthwaite trilogy.
The Prince of Poison is an historical romance in the sense that War and Peace or I, Claudius, or the World War I novels of Pat Barker are historical romances. In short, it takes a major period and converts it into an intensely gripping personal story, in this case the events before and after the signing of Magna Carta.
Kaufman’s research is stunning insofar as it seems so effortless and sensory in the best sense of the word. The novel is the third is a trilogy about Alix of Wanthwaite which includes the major events of the period, such as the Third Crusade, the loss of Normandy, and the afore-mentioned Magna Carta. The first of the novels, Shield of Three Lions, established Alix’s highly individual voice, a voice both witty and poignant (and often just plain funny), and became an international best seller. The second book, more intense and sexual in its story, treats the illicit love affair between Alix and King Richard of the Lionheart. Weaving through the second and third volumes is the history of the Jews at a turning point in Church and political biases. Bonel the Jew is an exceptionally well-realized character.
The Middle Ages has often been romanticized, but this book— while romantic—is also real. You will experience the sights, the smells, the limited technology as it really existed—and the personal story will delight you.