The Devil's Diadem

The Devil's Diadem

4.6 8
by Sara Douglass
     
 

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Maeb Langtofte is lucky to have a position in the household of the Earl of Pengraic—one of the most powerful men in England, whose holdings rival King Edmond's. She is lucky that his wife, Adelie, whom Maeb serves, is kind and pious (unlike the Earl, whom Maeb finds dark and secretive). But when word arrives that a plague is sweeping through Europe like a

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Overview

Maeb Langtofte is lucky to have a position in the household of the Earl of Pengraic—one of the most powerful men in England, whose holdings rival King Edmond's. She is lucky that his wife, Adelie, whom Maeb serves, is kind and pious (unlike the Earl, whom Maeb finds dark and secretive). But when word arrives that a plague is sweeping through Europe like a human wildfire, everyone in the Earl's household is put on edge. It is whispered that victims of this plague are spontaneously engulfed in flames—as if the flames of Hell had suddenly leapt up to claim them and the Devil himself is to blame.

As the disease spreads into England, so too does civil unrest. King Edmond calls his lords and their armies to return to London, and the Earl obeys, leaving Maeb and his family unprotected. It turns out that the Earl has been hiding more than state secrets, and that his family is at risk of losing not only their lives but also their souls. To her horror, Maeb will learn that the Devil himself may have arrived on her doorstep. And worse, what he demands may be running through her very veins.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Douglass (The Infinity Gate) immerses the reader in a fully realized medieval world where the supernatural is taken for granted, but her story falls short. Maeb Langtofte inherited a noble name and not much else from her father. Her hopes of a secure future rest on serving as a lady-in-waiting to the house of Pengraic, but her place is imperiled by a devastating plague and Maeb's mutual attraction with the earl's son. Maeb must balance her desires and others' agendas, at the risk of her life and the lives of those she cares for. Unfortunately, the singular heroine gradually becomes a Mary Sue–style caricature: practically every man she encounters falls for her—even her own son praises her sexual attractiveness—and she alone survives an otherwise invariably fatal illness. This regrettable transformation costs the story much of its plausibility and charm. (Aug.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062200099
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/20/2012
Pages:
522
Sales rank:
542,794
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.50(d)

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