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The Fifth Knight

(The Fifth Knight #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  2,165 ratings  ·  156 reviews
When mercenary Sir Benedict Palmer agrees to help King Henry II’s knights seize the traitor Archbishop Thomas Becket, what begins as a clandestine arrest ends in cold-blooded murder. And when Fitzurse, the knights’ ringleader, kidnaps Theodosia, a beautiful young nun who witnessed the crime, Palmer can sit silently by no longer. He and Theodosia rely only on each other as ...more
Paperback, 390 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Thomas & Mercer (first published January 22nd 2012)
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,165 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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In the world of Henry II and Thomas Becket, Powell imagines that the knights who set out to murder Becket had a second mission and that there was a "fifth knight" pressed into their service. That mission is well thought out and takes the fifth knight, Sir Benedict Palmer, on a quest to save several lives and his own honor.
The retelling of the basis for Becket's murder is inventive. Powell's England is described in vivid detail from the lives of ordinary serfs, seamen and villagers to the details
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Find the enhanced version of this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

E.M. Powell's The Fifth Knight is the kind of book that takes hold and refuses to let you go. You take it to bed thinking you'll read a chapter or so before you call it a night and 150 pages later your spouse rolls over and threatens your life if you don't turn off the light... okay not my life exactly but he threatened my book which is close enough.

It really isn't all that surprising when you think a
Dianne Ascroft
May 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is a fast paced story that provides a new twist on the story of Thomas Becket's murder. Adding the fifth knight changes everything you have heard about the event and opens up a gripping alternative account of it.

I was captivated by Sir Benedict, the knight the title refers to and his feisty companion, Sister Theodosia. I am fascinated by the world these characters live in. I can barely imagine what it would be like to be an anchoress and know that you will never leave the cell in which
Marsha Lambert
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Just read The Fifth Knight for the second time. I love reading anything to do with King Henry II's reign so downloaded this book the minute I learned about it. With an interesting plot twist dealing with the death of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket and the intriguing under layers of the plot dealing with the main characters, The Fifth Knight is an action packed ride from start to finish. The flavor of the 12th century was spot on and I especially enjoyed one of the main characters, S ...more
This was a fun adventure to listen to that poses the question: What if that fateful day in Canterbury was not just about a quarrel between Henry II and Thomas Becket? What if there was much more to it? What if, in fact, Thomas was not even the primary target?

Obviously, this novel has to work outside of what we think we know about the murder of Thomas Becket, so one has to be prepared for that. If you are open to the what-ifs in history, this book is right up your alley. It is a fast paced advent
Dec 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-books
A new twist on an old story. Why was Thomas Becket brutally murdered? Because Henry II wanted to be rid of him. That's what we're told. This story is not the one you learned in school.

Most of the plot was excellent. The action sequences were well written even if there were some slightly unbelievable aspects. (view spoiler) Some of the
Susan Crowe
Just finished episode 2 of this serial. Really a good book.

just finished episode 3. This is getting good.

just finished episode 4. great story!!

just finished episode 5. Wow!!! I didn't see that coming!!

I just finished the 6th and final episode of this book. I read it as a Kindle Serial. It is no longer available in that form but can be bought as a complete book.
It was so very good. I looked forward to receiving the latest episode every 2 weeks.
I highly recommend this book. Very entertaining stor
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
While The Fifth Knight started out as an interesting piece of historical fiction, the story quickly devolved into a melodramatic chase story with predictable plot turns, goofy dialog and villians who wouldn't die. It some interesting elements, but there were a few themes the story went over and over and over. The Kindle serial was also an interesting concept.
Cracking good and believable re-write of history with enough tension, character development and 'feel for the era' to make this a straight 5 star read for me.
G.A. Wilson
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book tells the tale of Benedict Palmer, a mercenary knight. His only ambition is to become wealthy, buy a nice house and enjoy his status as a rich hero. To this end he joins a group of nefarious knights whose mission is to assassinate Archbishop Thomas Beckett. Once the gory deed is done, the five knights abscond with innocent young nun, Theodosia. As a child, she was left in the care of the archbishop by her mother, Amelie. The mother, meanwhile, has spent the intervening years hiding in ...more
Tom Walsh
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a Kindle Serial, released in segments. It deals with the knight who was part of the team who assassinated Thomas Becket. But, he soon discovers guilt and true religion from a hostage. The hostage is a nun, who knows a secret for which the other knights would kill to know.

The second part was released on 12/11/12. This is available through Kindle only. The author is no stranger to plot and character development. However, the antagonist seems to kill too many beloved and kind characters. Li
Kellyann Zuzulo
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book. Started The Fifth Knight to check out the Kindle serials. I've received 4 episodes, which equals about 280 pages for $1.99. I didn't expect too much. Yet, the writing is excellent; the story is gripping; the characters are unforgettable. Powell has obviously done her research into the period. I felt plunged into the rustic and rough world of the 12th century. I learned something new with Powell's detail around the history of Thomas Becket's murder. (Oddly, I didn't ...more
Cora Lee
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lots of adventure without getting too crazy, excellent use of existing history in a way I never saw coming, and a romance between a knight and a nun! Some of the characters did get a tad one-dimensional toward the end (the good guys were a bit holier-than-thou, the bad guys just evil), but were marvelously human through most of the story. This one's going in the keeper Kindle collection.
Dennis Garber
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun and delightful read.

If you love historical fiction, dive in and enjoy the swim. You will love it. Look forward to the next.
Carlyle Clark
THE FIFTH KNIGHT, E.M. Powell’s debut medieval thriller reached #1 on Amazon and with good reason.

The Fifth Knight is an “intimate” thriller, which focuses on a handful of characters, good and bad, that you get to know very well, instead of dozens as one might find in continent or globe spanning thrillers, historical and contemporary. Being so delightfully focused, The Fifth Knight does not require an extensive dramatis personæ for the reader to keep track of, who works for whom or begat whom,.
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Fifth Knight is a wonderful, fast-paced historical mystery that is filled with intrigue and a touch of romance. Ms. Powell told a remarkable story about the murder of Thomas Becket that has a unique twist on why and how he was killed.

I pretty much loved everything about this, except one thing which I will explain later. Theodosia and Benedict make a wonderful heroine/hero. Their relationship was developed so well and I really enjoyed the opposites attract notion. However, the budding romant
Blair Hodgkinson
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I generally don't quibble on how many stars to give a novel I've read, but this one has me wavering on a grade between 3 stars or 4, and in the end, the criterion that decided me to give it 4 stars is that it has left me willing to read the next installment in the series.

What I liked: Powell writes vigorously, keeping this moving along nicely and drawing interesting and contrasting characters as she keeps things flowing. This is no small thing. She writes action convincingly and without restrai
May 16, 2013 rated it liked it
This historical thriller revolves around the assassination of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket and adds a fifth knight to the known four who were involved. None of these knights are the honorable ones who usually save damsels in distress. They are portrayed more as mercenaries though they try to rationalize their brutality by saying they are carrying out orders issued by King Henry II. E. M. Powell does a masterful job of combining historical facts and personages with the story of her fict ...more
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
As I have a degree in Medieval English History, this book was right up my alley. The murder of Thomas Becket is one of those moments upon which history hinges and a story set in its context was incredibly appealing to me. Powell has done a good job streamlining this novel--a lot happen in it and she doesn't leave any loose ends, and she throws in an unexpected plot twist as the book hurdles to its conclusion. Palmer and Theodosia are two very well-drawn characters. Not only are they multi-facete ...more
To be honest I didn’t expect to enjoy this story as much as I did. This story is definitely what I call a suspenseful thriller. This was a page turner from beginning to end. I know a little of the history that the author writes in this story and I was curious about it when she added a fifth knight. I thought, “How interesting and did she pull this off?” Well, she certainly does, so well in fact that it is believable and intriguing. Everything about this story draws you in. The characters, plot a ...more
The Lit Bitch
Apr 07, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

I loved that the novel started off with an action sequence (Thomas Becket’s murder). I thought it was a great way to immediately introduce the principal characters and throw them together in an intriguing situation rather than having to build a long back story and make everything culminate throughout the novel. I really really liked that element in this book.

The period itself as a backdrop to this story really worked well. It’s a tumultuous time in England mixed with excitement, decep
Melinda Leigh
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Fifth Knight is a page-turning twist on the murder of Thomas Becket. It has everything a great story needs to hold my interest: action, adventure, intrigue, knights, valiant steeds, swordplay, and an unexpected romance that kept me rooting for Palmer and Theodosia until the very last page. Powell weaves all these elements with historical events into a fresh plot that should appeal to readers of mystery thriller, action adventure, historical fiction, and romance.
Candace Nantz-Butler
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I had bought it on Kindle series and regretted that only because I hated the wait between episodes. It had a lot of good action and a good pace. Well written and believable. I enjoy books about mid-evil times but at times they can be cheesy. I did not find this with the Fifth Knight. I was sucked into the action right away and it kept my interest throughout the book. !Good entertaining read!
Julie Baker
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely EXCELLENT! I loved this story soooooo much! I got it as a Kindle Serial and just happened to get lucky and get it with all the episodes released. Thank goodness for that or else I think I would've gone crazy waiting for it! Great characters. Great story line. Great intrigue. Just great, great, great!! I loved everything!! I can't wait to read it again and again and again....
Darlene Williams
Captivating tale of courage both physically and spiritually

Well written novel centering on the murder of Thomas a Beckett, the motives behind his death, courage, redemption, and struggles of conscience. Highly recommended.
Donald Mosier
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked it. There was one plot flaw that forced me to downgrade by one star. But the action was good. The writing was good. I finished it while home sick on Tuesday. And despite feeling awful, I still enjoyed the read.
Christopher Stires
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
fast paced and enjoyable read - I will be reading more by this author
Susie Fiorito
Nov 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Reminds of how ridiculous historical romantic fiction is!
Sherry Sidwell
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it
A great historical novel this is not. What it is though is a vastly entertaining ride.

The Fifth Knight goes beyond the bare facts of what is known about the 1170 murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral by four knights acting on their supposed loyalty to Henry II to ask what if there was a fifth mercenary knight who was along for the ride or what if there had been a whole lot more to it than a religious quarrel that got out of hand. From that point forward, ignore what you may
Andrew Doohan
An intriguing and engrossing medieval mystery that begins with the historically accurate murder of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury under King Henry II of England. The well-known story of Becket's murder at the hands of four royal knights is enhanced by the fictional narrative of a fifth knight, and a storyline that offers a potential alternative reason for Becket's murder.

In unfolding the story, we are propelled on a ruthless chase across England and into France, with twists and turns th
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Madison Mega-Mara...: This topic has been closed to new comments. "The Fifth Knight" by E M Powell 1 1 May 30, 2014 04:42PM  
UK Amazon Kindle ...: E.M. Powell THE FIFTH KNIGHT 10 15 Feb 10, 2013 01:12PM  

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E.M. Powell’s historical thriller FIFTH KNIGHT novels have been #1 Amazon and Bild bestsellers.

Her new Stanton & Barling medieval murder mystery series starts with THE KING’S JUSTICE, which is due for release on June 1 2018.

Born and raised in the Republic of Ireland into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State), she now lives in northwes

Other books in the series

The Fifth Knight (3 books)
  • The Blood of The Fifth Knight (The Fifth Knight, #2)
  • The Lord of Ireland (The Fifth Knight, #3)
“To her horror, Henry threw his head back and roared with laughter. “Sire, please, we’re in a chapel.” He snorted. “God doesn’t mind if we laugh aloud. He created us in His own image, remember.” “Exactly. Chaste, pure, contained, selfless. All the things I was before I met him.” “Oh, my dear girl. God is so much more than that.” Henry put his powerful hand over hers. “Palmer hasn’t changed you. He’s allowed you to be yourself, allowed you to be like your father, as well as your mother. Yes, you’ve had to do some hard, hard things. But so have I. And sometimes we have to ask God for forgiveness for what we’ve done. The glorious thing is, He grants it. It’s what He died for.” 1 likes
“You can cut and cut at a serpent’s tail. Unless you sever the head, it can still devour you.” 0 likes
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