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The Lady of Kingdoms

(Watchers of Outremer #2)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  49 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Magic made her a warrior.

Justice will make her a legend.

Jerusalem, 1180: A catastrophe destroyed Marta Bessarion's family and whisked her away from everything she once knew. Now, armed with a magic spear and a burning thirst for justice, Marta vows to protect her new home and family, no matter the cost.

But trouble is brewing in the glittering palaces of Jerusalem..
Kindle Edition, 593 pages
Published November 26th 2019 by Bocfodder Press
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  49 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Oct 25, 2019 marked it as my-books  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
It may not actually be true that reading this book will freshen your breath, improve your fashion sense, or give you a more soulful connection with the people you love, but multiple beta readers have told me the book left them feeling, and I quote, "a bit giddy". We're just two books into the Watchers of Outremer series, but this is the instalment I'm most excited about.


(A note on reading order: you can start reading the series either with this book; or with Book 1, A Wind f
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Starting to think these books have ruined me for all other medieval fiction.

(not that I've read a lot, it's just that the medieval setting usually seems to be used as only the thinnest of veneers to prop up a historically inaccurate plot...but maybe I've just only been exposed to particularly bad ones)

While I enjoyed A Wind From the Wilderness, I liked The Lady of Kingdoms even more. A large part of this probably had to with Marta, a character for whom I would most definitely sacrifice myself sh
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second volume of the Watchers of the Outremer series is as fast paced as the first volume, keeping you turning pages to see what will happen next, because you don't expect what is going to happen!

The first novel happened during the first crusade, so we saw quite a lot of fighting. In this one, we are in the Kingdom of Jerusalem during the reign of the Leper King. There is some fighting too, but above all political intrigue. With the exception of the added fantasy elements and the main chara
Bryn Shutt
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-books
I do not believe in miracles - at least not where medieval fiction is concerned. My historian self has one relationship with that genre - *throw book against wall and console self with encyclopedias.*

But here I am giving this book 5 hearty stars.

Abigail Hartman
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The Lady of Kingdoms swept me off my feet into a world brimming with life and love, death and betrayal, angels and demons - all set to the gorgeously detailed backdrop of history. As in the preceding book, A Wind from the Wilderness, Suzannah Rowntree has done her research. Every page is dripping with rich detail, whether about textiles, the layers of armour a knight wears, political intrigues, or gruesome wounds and their treatments, it's evident that she has poured her love for history into th ...more
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2020
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, like all of Suzannah Rowntree's books. It is very well written and researched. This was a very hard book to put down. Now I am anxiously awaiting the third book! ...more
Margaret Sonnemann
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Engaging and gripping

Really couldn’t put this one down. Characters so well crafted, story intriguing and compelling. Though I’m interested in history, I often find it dry. But I forgot this was even historical; all I knew was that I was in that world and it was enthralling. Can’t wait for the next one! (Soon??)
It's not a good choice, but none of our choices are good ones.
I read book one and I was afraid this would be the theme of the entire series. I read book two and now I have hope that it's not.

Let me make something clear: I don't see things in terms of black and white. For me there are always a thousand unexplored options in between. That doesn't mean I don't believe in right and wrong, but it does mean I believe the line between the two is often difficult to discern. Difficult, but not impossibl
The Lady of Kingdoms took a while to pull me in, but once it did, I could hardly put it down! A fascinating blend of history and fantasy with a kick-butt heroine like no other, this story is epic in proportion, yet viewed mainly through the eyes of the main character.
Intrigue, drama, battle scenes, amazing escapes, heroic actions, tragic romance, betrayal, and genuine friendship and love--this story has it all!
My favorites? Persi, Baldwin, and Balian. And Marta, of course. I may even have cried
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lady of Kingdoms

This historical fantasy gave me life. It was a breath of fresh air at a time when I was trying to find that book that was outside of the box. We readers live to find treasures like this. The Lady of Kingdoms has an interesting plot, interesting characters, and lots of intrigue. This book had me wondering why I hadn't heard of this author before and it also encouraged me to purchase two other books by Rowntree.
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Watchers of Outremer series continues when teenage Marta Bessarion is catapulted through time from the 7th to the late 12th century.

She lands (quite literally) in the Holy Land just before the 3rd Crusade. The rest of the novel takes the reader on an exciting, thrilling- and sometimes breathtaking right through the Crusader states in the 1180s.

The reader will be immersed in the complex politics of the period, and meet some famous historical figures along the way, including Balian d'Ibelin,
Eli Hinze
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gave me so much of what I didn't even know I wanted, and I loved every page. The deeper look into Khalil, the (view spoiler), the fighting, the owner-of-my-heart (Marta), the vivid and horrifying descriptions of demons, of scheming court politics and romance and more.

First off, that historical research! *fans self* Rowntree never beats you over the head with the details, but instead naturally submerges you in it. You don't think you
Andrew Lacey
The Lady of Kingdoms:

Are you looking for an exciting adventure that provides an in-depth look at the Christian realms of the Holy Land during the 12th century? Well then, this is probably the book for you!
The Lady of Kingdoms contains just enough of a recap to orientate a reader, whether they are coming from the previous book in the series, or just starting straight in. The story whirls like a sandstorm through the cool palaces of Jerusalem and to the hot wastes of Arabian desserts. It weaves th
Liz Koetsier
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was everything I was expecting, with some truly good and clever twists. Marta and her spear are the best. Really. I want to keep Marta and squish her. She's fierce and tiny, and has a heart as big as the world. On the other hand, you have Sibylla, who I am probably supposed to hate but I don't. She's resourceful, although selfish, and clever. She's one of those villains that chills you, and the reader side of me winces while the writer side of me was fascinated. Baldwin's story, however, wa ...more
Mererid Evanna
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is part of the continuing story of the Christian Bessarion family, ripped apart in time by a wicked spell. It follows the teenage daughter, who finds herself in Jerusalem at the time of Baldwin IV, the Leper King.

The Lady of Kingdoms is a beautifully devised historical tale dealing principally with subtle political manipulations, often involving marriages as a key factor in alliances, but beyond the merely human level there are also the schemes of the demonic Lilith who watches for we
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book! I lost myself daily following Marta's adventures. It was not just a story but a history lesson, my kind of book, where you learn stuff without realising it. I enjoyed the contrast between the Jerusalem of the Bessarions' time to that of Baldwin and the Ibelins: the mixture of religions and how they got along again contrasting to today. A love story that kept you dangling - will they, won't they? But I won't give the answer away. It had strong women characters: Marta, Persi, Maria ...more
Jesse C
May 24, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
Oh god Marta is such a boring character. Like the last book, the main story-line isn't really the good part of the book, but unfortunately the Crusades story-line in this book isn't all that interesting either. It really feels like the attempt to shoehorn the fantasy elements into this book takes away a lot of what would normally be some interesting political machinations. But reducing it all to "the evils spirits are making them do it" drains it of all the drama. Ah well. I'll finish the series ...more
Linda Romer
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, reviews
I thought The Lady of Kingdoms was an amazing read. I really liked book #1 and I found Book #2 much more interesting. Marta Bessarion's story is mesmerizing, heroic and filled with Historical facts. The Crusades have many stories and I loved this one.

I give The Lady of Kingdoms 5 stars for its amazing read.
I would recommend this book to Historical Fiction Fans.
Chrissy Garwood
This was the first book by Rowntree that I have read, but it definitely won't be the last. The characters were well written and engaging. The historical setting came alive on the page. And the action had me racing through the chapters to a very satisfying ending.
J.M. Jablowski
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book. The characters, the setting, the action, just... wow.

I especially liked the whole concept of the seraphim looking like dragons.

This book is probably going to be one of my favorite reads of the year.
Jared Abbott
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a great adventure story! Marta Bassarion makes Xena, Warrior Princes seem fairly boring in comparison. I hope my own daughter will grow to be as preux as Marta. I'm looking forward to the upcoming sequel, The House of Mourning. ...more
Robina Fox
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful historical fantasy, firmly rooted in historical fact.
Engaging, intense, and beautiful: Suzannah Rowntree has outdone herself! The historical setting is rich and alive, the characters complex and real, the themes deep and woven as intricately as a golden thread through a cloth (if you read the book, you'll see what I did there). Marta herself is a delight- she's up there very high on my list of best fictional heroines: her unerring determination to do what's right, her courage and her gentleness, the way she delights in her work just as much as she ...more
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though I’m not really a fan of political intrigues, I am interested in the crusades. So parts of the book were a little boring and slow for me but overall I enjoyed the book. I wish there was a bit more of the fantasy element. I think I would have read the book a little bit faster if that had been the case.
Peter Allen
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Jun 06, 2021
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Feb 16, 2020
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Meg MacDonald
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Hi! I live in a big house in rural Australia with my awesome parents and siblings, writing historical fantasy fiction. You can visit me online at

​If you like the mythic fantasy of Stephen Lawhead, S. A. Chakraborty or Naomi Novik, you'll probably like my stories too!

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Other books in the series

Watchers of Outremer (3 books)
  • A Wind from the Wilderness (Watchers of Outremer, #1)
  • A Day of Darkness

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