Matrix (2021, Riverhead Books) 2 stars

Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn …

Sadly usual anachronical vision of the middle-ages

2 stars

Very well written with a vocabulary that does make you feel you're somewhere around 1160. But the premises of the novel are not very believable. For instance the hero, a 16 years old teenager doesn't believe in God. Don't forget that not only was the church back then very powerful and very present in everyday life (mass every day, many saints birth and death days were celebrated every week) but also science was obviously still in infancy which means that people back then didn't have obvious explanations for many aspects of life such as illnesses and natural events such as floods, forest fires, etc. Believing in God then was easy and not believing was not very likely. Add to that the fact the this young lady transforms an abbey from starting to super rich with nuns fighting and winning against villagers and you realize that this doesn't make for a very plausible story. If the work would have been meant as pure super hero fantasy this wouldn't have mattered. But that's not how it presents itself and not how I read it.