(Review) The Lord of Ireland, The Fifth Night, Book Three by E.M. Powell

Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer, a trademark of Amazon
Genre: Historical fiction, Historical thriller, 12th century, England, Ireland, Henry II, John
Pages: 370
Source: Free copy from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour and Amazon. 
Rating: 4 stars for very good

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour page

England, 1185. John is a prince without prospect of a crown. As the youngest son of Henry II, he has long borne the hated nickname ‘Lackland’. When warring tribes and an ambitious Anglo-Norman lord threaten Henry’s reign in Ireland, John believes his time has finally come. Henry is dispatching him there with a mighty force to impose order.
Yet it is a thwarted young man who arrives on the troubled isle. John has not been granted its kingship—he is merely the Lord of Ireland, destined never to escape his father’s shadow. Unknown to John, Henry has also sent his right-hand man, Sir Benedict Palmer, to root out the traitors he fears are working to steal the land from him.
But Palmer is horrified when John disregards Henry’s orders and embarks on a campaign of bloodshed that could destroy the kingdom. Now Palmer has to battle the increasingly powerful Lord of Ireland. Power, in John’s hands, is a murderous force—and he is only just beginning to wield it.

My Thoughts:
I've not read any stand alone books on John Plantagenet, the youngest son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
I have a nonfiction book on my shelf to be read, King John: Treachery and Tyranny in Medieval England: The Road to Magna Carta by Marc Morris.
I've been anxious to study John, to unravel his character a bit. From what little information I've read about him, he is described as calculating, manipulative, volatile, and callous.
E.M. Powell has reflected these character traits and more in The Lord of Ireland.
While reading The Lord of Ireland, John is the character that drew my attention to foremost. Even when he is not in a scene, the other characters are menaced by his control and power.
John reminds me of a "bull in a china shop," because he forces his way through a situation to achieve his ambitions.
Sir Benedict Palmer is sent to Ireland by Henry II. Palmer's wife, Theodosia, does not want to be absent from her husband.
They are an unusual pair for this era, a married couple who are devoted to one another and are in love. Marriages during this age were arranged. I'm sure there were many couples who did love one another, but marriages were more like business transactions, a union created for dowries and to procreate.
Theodosia is intelligent and brave. She takes great risks on behalf of her husband. Their story line kept me reading till the end.
Another couple is Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath, and wife Eimear. I did not quite figure them out in the book. I understand how their marriage came to be, and I understand their "arrangement." I did wonder if there were undertones of something else? They are a mystery to me.
I enjoyed reading The Lord of Ireland. I believe the characters are what popped for me in the story. I am anxious to read the previous books in this series.
I want to mention, The Lord of Ireland can be read without reading the previous books in the series. It can be read as a stand alone book.

About The Author:
E.M. Powell’s medieval thrillers The Fifth Knight and The Blood of the Fifth Knight have been number-one Amazon bestsellers and on the Bild bestseller list in Germany.
Born into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State) and raised in the Republic of Ireland, she lives in north-west England with her husband, daughter and a Facebook-friendly dog.
She reviews fiction and non-fiction for the Historical Novel Society, blogs for English Historical Fiction Authors and is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers’ The Big Thrill magazine.
Find more information at E.M. Powell’s website and blog. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

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“With her fast-paced mysteries set in the tumultuous reign of Henry II, E.M. Powell takes readers on enthralling, and unforgettable, journeys.” -Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown
“Both Fifth Novels are terrific. Benedict and Theodosia are not merely attractive characters: they are intensely real people.” -Historical Novels Review
“From the get-go you know you are in an adventure when you enter the world of E.M. Powell’s 12th century. Peril pins you down like a knight’s lance to the chest”-Edward Ruadh Butler, author of Swordland