The Devil's Diadem

( 8 )

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 ...

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The Devil's Diadem

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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.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062200099
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/20/2012
  • Pages: 522
  • Sales rank: 818,137
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sara Douglass was born in Adelaide but moved to Hobart in later life to write full-time. Three of her books won the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy and many were shortlisted. She published nineteen books of epic and historical fantasy before her death in 2011.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    Perfect read for fantasy fans

    I'm not new to Douglass--I (unfortunately) read her Dark Glass Mountain series first, but I wish I started with the Wayfarer Redemption so then I could have read everything of hers without knowing what would happen!

    Anyway, this book certainly did not disappoint and was right on par with what I've already read from her. It was really hard to put this book down. The story will grab a hold of you and you wont want to leave the world Douglass creates in this tale.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Deep

    This book is simply one way of saying there is much MORE to historical fantasy that one meets the eye. The plot is awesome, no corny lines and stuff even if the hero is actually a lady. The characters were well described and very dynamic. A sure way to light up your mood.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2011

    High Fantasy and Historically Accurate

    High Fantasy and (frustratingly) historically accurate.
    Don't look for a female lead that overcomes the historically accurate prejudices of the time. Instead we have a main character that does her best to be true to herself and remain a good person in spite of the horrors that occur around her. She survives plague, political intrigue and war while staying loyal to her morals and her family. Maeb always chooses the moral path even while being used as a cats-paw in a battle between the Devil, the King and the Templars. If, against historical accuracy, Maeb had been able to read the whole series of trials and tribulations would have been much easier to resolve. But, then her life would have taken a different route and, as Maeb stated, she did not regret her life after ********spoiler*********.
    Warning, you have to read all the way to the end for the final answers. Thank you Sara for keeping my interest all the way to the end.

    © Night Owl Reviews

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    an entertaining alternate historical fantasy

    In the twelfth century, minor noblewoman Lady Maeb Langtofte feels fortunate that she obtained a position as a Lady-in-Waiting to the kind pious matriarch of the powerful Earldom of Pengraic, Lady Adelie. Maeb likes her caring employer but fears Adelie's secretive spouse.

    Rumors fly that the continent is trapped in hell's inferno which is affirmed rather quickly when the Black Death Plague sweeps into England. The gossip inside of the House of Pengraic is that victims abruptly combust into flames as the Devil claims their souls. At the same time King Edmond orders his earls to come to London with their armies while his kingdom plunges into demonic chaos. Obeying his Highness' edict, Pengraic leaves behind his frightened household to deal with the plague and a visitor from Hell seeking a stolen treasure.

    The Devil's Diadem is an entertaining alternate historical fantasy that deploys the Black Death as a supernatural demonic deadly disease. Maeb is an intriguing protagonist who goes from the fearful Perils of Pauline person to a courageous Joan of Arc heroine. Her other metamorphosis from a nonentity mom into a siren no male can resist detracts from an otherwise enjoyable paranormal retelling of the demonic plague.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

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