“Plaint for Provence” is the third book in the Troubadors Quartet by Jean Gill. The story continues to follow the troubairitz Estela de Matin and her lover Dragonetz los Pros as they navigate the often troubled waters of political intrigue in medieval France. Now reunited with their infant son Musca and Estela beloved guard dog Nici they have settled into family life in Marselha. But their peaceful existence is soon to be disturbed by the outside world. As the story progresses old friends and enemies return and the maneuvering of those in power as well as those who seek it, plays out against the colorful backdrop of the period.
As with the first two books in the series, this book is well researched. Gill’s beautifully written descriptions of the region are so engaging it’s as if the reader has traveled back in time. Along with this are her vibrant images of the characters. Her ability to keep characters lively throughout the series speaks highly of her talent as a writer.
Particularly fascinating in this installment is Estela’s growing interest in the pharmacopeia of the period. This adds yet another fascinating dimension to the character.
The character of Dragonetz has also developed beautifully. His love for and devotion to Estela has become even more evident giving him a depth that is compelling.
By the end of this portion of the quartet Estela and Dragonetz are fully committed to one another. Each has released the ties of past relationships, family and friends, dedicating themselves to each other, their child, and the true friends who have supported them throughout. Their devotion is inspiring.
Another positive for Ms Gill is her addition of a list of characters and the identification of whether they are real historical figures or fictional characters of her creation. She has interspersed the two so skillfully that it would be difficult to know which was which without this explanation.
Gill is quite skilled at ending her books at a point that leaves the reader eager for more but not disturbed by a sudden jolt of separation. I look forward to the next edition. No one writes historical fiction as well as Jean Gill.