The Crown Rose

Written by Fiona Avery
Review by Audrey Braver

The “crown rose” is Isabelle of France, sister of King Louis IX. The year is 1240 AD. Although knighthood is still revered, chivalry is in its decline. The church dominates every facet of human life and is as influential as it has ever been or will ever be. Even so, there are dark forces stalking Europe, particularly the French monarchy. Since the death of Louis VIII, Queen Blanche has relied on the protection of the Order of the Rose, three sisters who act as guardian angels. In this story, a strange man named Jean appears. He also protects the royal family, saving the princess from a rabid dog, healing Prince Robert’s injuries from a hunting accident, protecting King Louis on the battlefield, and revealing the mystery of love to young Prince Charles. He appears and disappears almost without warning. Isabelle loves him, despite the fact that she has taken the veil. The reader may guess the truth of the mystery surrounding Jean and the Order of the Rose before it is revealed, but that will in no way detract from the story.

Fiona Avery has written a suspenseful novel that is part historical, part fantasy. Her style is clean and full of vivid images. Ms. Avery writes for the screen and television as well as the comics. The Crown Rose is a delightful and exciting page-turner.