The Cardinal’s Heir
The infamous Cardinal Richelieu is dead, poisoned by one of his many enemies. But who? Long the defender of France and its monarchy, his death creates not only havoc but a mystery for his dearly loved but baseborn niece Françoise de Palis, Comtesse de Pau, and the unprofessed, closeted leader of his legion of moles and assassins known as The Cardinal’s Eyes. Françoise swears revenge and aligns herself with her adversary, Captain Jean de Treville of the King’s Musketeers. To complicate affairs she must also reveal she is a potent Sorciere with the ability to shape-shift. Together with the help of Musketeers and Cardinal’s Eyes alike, they risk danger in pursuit not only of a murderer but a famous jewel that could well be the key to an entire conspiracy.
I thoroughly enjoyed Demarest’s witty and sarcastic style, which added a brilliant originality and vivacity to the tale. At times, Françoise seemed lacking in the cleverness one would think would be vital to her position, yet still the author manages to use this flaw in a positive way to illustrate the comtesse’s womanly side. The Cardinal’s Heir was a brisk, compelling and humorous read that I would heartily recommend to readers of both historical fiction and fantasy alike.