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Imagine that you are a dangerously clever, thoroughly over-educated
sixteen year old, who feels wholly disconnected from her current station
in life and rather hates her father. Imagine also that you have the
further misfortune to find yourself alive during the 13th Century, that
your father is the philistine King of a small Central European country,
and that he does not approve of the fact that you can quote Aristotle
more expertly than you can curtsy. Finally to top everything off imagine
that you have just learned that you are to be married off to a German
nobleman who believes that you will make an excellent pawn in an ongoing
struggle to become Holy Roman Emperor…
What do you do?
If your name is Aletheia–first and only daughter of His Majesty Edward
IX, and most indubitably born in the wrong century–you proceed to flee.
If your name is Aletheia you also find yourself embarking on a bizarre
and comic odyssey across perilously chaotic medieval Europe. During her
journey our heroine will encounter cross dressing Romanians, bamboozle
criminally incompetent highwaymen, crush spherically odious tutors
(using only the power of pure logic), and, in at least one desperate
instance, impersonate the Virgin Mary, all in the hopes of reaching a
final destination that is about to be sacked by an army of waylaid
Still unsure? Just take a look at this review!
I received this book free over Christmas as was pleasantly surprised. Adam M. Johnson’s Loud, Disorderly, and Boisterous is a truly enjoyable read. Landing somewhere between Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galax and The Princess Bride, the book is a buoyant tour through medieval Europe.
Aletheia makes a lovely modern heroine. While she may be a princess fleeing an arranged marriage, but Aletheia is no stereotypical damsel in distress. She is classically educated, wise beyond her years, and far more qualified to rule a country than either of her brothers. She gets herself out of scrapes using her wits as often as not, but would ultimately be quite content with a nice cup of tea and a good book.
The novel reads like zany historical fiction more than a fantasy. The characters are immersed in real historical events, such as the sacking of Constantinople, and Aletheia’s prospective beau was even a real candidate for Holy Roman Emperor. Though this may sound dull to those not interested in straight historical fiction, it is written with modern sardonic tone and passages reflecting on just how much the 13th century sucked are a hoot.
With an intellectual edge and a wicked sense of humor, I recommend this tale to anyone with, love of things historical, fantastical, or a simply looking for a quick good read. – Karen L. Johnson