In a land overshadowed by death, fifteen year-old Nell's uncanny resemblance to Princess Joan brings her to act as her double--what young girl wouldn't want to leave a life of poverty and pretend to be a princess? But when the plague catches up to the royal entourage, thwarting the King's plan for the princess to marry the Prince of Castile and seal an alliance between their kingdoms, Nell's life could change forever. Princess Joan's brother The Black Prince schemes to make the wedding go on declaring Nell will no longer double for Joan, she will become the princess and dupe Prince Pedro into marriage! With the aid and protection of a quirky band of friends--a Spanish minstrel, a monk, a gravedigger, a band of merchants--Nell must evade not only the Black Prince, a practitioner of the dark arts, but the plague as well, as she fights to return to the King and country. Based on historical truth, Dahme beautifully captures the dark terror of a Plague-infested fourteenth century Europe, while bringing to life the daily existence of medieval life for young adult readers.
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(210mm x 140mm x 28mm)
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
An orphan becomes an innocent pawn in a dangerous political plot that carries her from London to Bordeaux while the Black Death cuts a swath through 14th-century Europe. Fifteen-year-old Nell escapes a life of poverty when her amazing likeness to Princess Joan earns her the job of stand-in for the princess. En route to her marriage to Prince Pedro of Castile, the princess succumbs to the plague. Her wily brother Edward, the Black Prince, devises a cunning plan to have Nell masquerade as the princess so the marriage can still take place. Nell, her brother George and a young soldier escape into countryside ravaged by plague, where they are relentlessly pursued by the Black Prince and his army of charmed rats. From start to finish, Nell's lively first-person narrative conveys a palpable atmosphere of deception and terror, propelling readers from one hair-raising event to the next. Despite the contrived ending that finds Nell a prisoner in the Tower of London, Dahme successfully blurs fact and fiction to capture the pervasive horror that infected life during the plague. (Historical fantasy. 12-15) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Joanne Dahme
Joanne Dahme works for the Philadelphia Water Department as its Watersheds Programs Manager. She received her civil engineering degree from Villanova University in 1980, and went on to earn a Masters of Journalism and Master's in Creative Writing from Temple University. Creepers, her first venture into the realm of young adult fiction, met with widespread acclaim from the literary world. Joanne lives with her husband and son in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.