Required Reading

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Books I have authored.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

A Sword In Her Hand by Jean-Claude Van Rijkeghem and Pat Van Beirs

In 1347 a surprisingly modern female protagonist was born in Flanders. Not Flanders N.J. but Flanders a region with a rich history in Belgium.

In the modern world it is entirely to easy to forget how important small and nearly unknown regions of the world had historic impact. Marguerite Van Male was the last heiress of the Count of Flanders. From the authors’ deductions she would have been burning her bra and marching on the Pentagon if she had been born 625 years later. I enjoyed the portrayal of a young woman unwilling to accept the stereotypes of her time period. The authors painted a grimly realistic portrait of poor hygiene, stringent social codes and devastating diseases culminating in an early demise for the bulk of the population.

Even the background setting of the story provided insight to how the wealth involved in sheep and woven goods was changing the fabric of a stagnant society both literally and figuratively. The supplanting of the power of hereditary nobles by the wealth of the rising guilds was a excellent backdrop for the coming of age of a feisty non-conformist.

This is a book that will go well in my list of butt kicking female protagonists.

I recommend the book.

Body of work of Jean-Claude Van Rijkeghem

Body of work of Pat Van Beirs

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