Young Frenchwoman Estelle de Montavon sails to Cyprus imagining a bright future as tutor to a princess. Instead, she is betrayed by those she loves most—and forced into a dangerous new world of scheming courtiers, vicious power struggles, and the terrifying threat of war.
Determined to flee, Estelle enlists the help of an attractive and mysterious falconer. But on the eve of her escape, fortune’s wheel turns again. She gains entry to Queen Charlotta’s inner circle as a trusted scribe and interpreter, fighting her way to dizzying heights of influence.
Enemies old and new rise from the shadows as Estelle navigates a royal game of cat and mouse between the queen and her powerful half-brother, who wants the throne for himself.
When war comes to the island, Estelle faces a brutal reckoning for her loyalty to the queen. Will the impossible choice looming ahead be her doom—or her salvation?
With this richly-told story of courage, loyalty, and the sustaining power of love, Amy Maroney brings a mesmerizing and forgotten world to vivid life. The Queen’s Scribe is a stand-alone novel in the Sea and Stone Chronicles collection.
Amy Maroney is the author of the award-winning Miramonde Series, the story of a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern day scholar on her trail.
This title is available to read on #KindleUnlimited.
Universal Link : https://mybook.to/QueensScribe
Praise for the Sea and Stone Chronicles:
“Island of Gold is a nimbly told story with impeccable pacing.”
—Historical Novel Society, Editor’s Choice Review
“Sea of Shadows is stunning. A compelling tale of love, honor, and conviction.”
—Reader’s Favorite Review
Enjoy an Excerpt from The Queen’s Scribe:
The galley entered the calm waters of Famagusta’s harbor, passing a tall stone tower on one side and a massive seawall on the other. Estelle stood on deck in the glaring sun with Signora Rosso and the widow’s two servants.
Shading her eyes, she watched each vessel of the convoy glide into the harbor. The pirate ship was among them, now captained by officers of the merchant fleet. Its surviving crewmen were locked in the hold. Their muffled groans sent shivers over her skin.
An anchor splashed into the water nearby from one of the vessels. The Scottish captain of the galley appeared on the deck, shouting orders to his crew. Impulsively, Estelle stuck an arm in the air and waved at him. He raised his hand in return. A stab of homesickness struck her. Master Fordun was a friend of her father’s and the last connection she had to her family in this foreign place.
She looked away before tears started to fall, studying her surroundings. Many of the structures crowding the waterfront were sinking into ruin. The docks were strewn with refuse. This harbor was larger than the one at Rhodes, with more buildings along its perimeter. But the polished veneer of order and prosperity at Rhodes harbor was missing here.
Once on land, Estelle followed Signora Rosso and her servants along the crowded dock, struggling to find her balance. It seemed as if she were still afloat, untethered to the earth, at risk of vanishing into the cloudless blue sky.
When the luggage had been loaded into a handcart by Signora Rosso’s servants, they all made their way to a small structure whose door was flanked by a pair of Genoese guards in red leather armor.
Signora Rosso took Estelle by the elbow and pulled her inside, where a man sat behind a table, his quill poised over a leather-bound book.
“What brings you to Famagusta, signora?” he asked, squinting against the sunlight streaming through the open door.
“That’s my business,” Signora Rosso snapped. “Let’s get this tariff paid, signor. I can’t bear the stench of rotting fish much longer.”
Estelle glanced at her chaperone sidelong. The widow had traveled from Cyprus to Venice, where her husband’s funeral mass had been held. During her return voyage, on a stopover in Rhodes, Estelle’s parents had hired Signora Rosso as chaperone for the journey to the Cypriot court in Nicosia. Why this had to be concealed was a mystery.
The man made a whiffling noise with his mouth. “You’re Venetian; it’s obvious from your accent. The only place you Venetians care about in Cyprus is Nicosia.”
The widow glared at him. “Now that you’ve ferreted out our destination, are there any other travelers in the harbor on their way to the capital? I’d like to get on the road today.”
“Two royal servants were on the fleet that just arrived from Alexandria. They hired a mule cart. You may be able to ride with them.” He peered over their shoulders, studying the luggage in the cart outside the door. “What goods to declare, signora?”
He studied her for a moment, expressionless. “We’ll have to inspect your things to be sure. Or you can double the normal tariff and we can avoid any inconvenience.”
She scowled and rummaged for two golden coins, then thrust them at him with a curt nod.
“Excellent. Sign here.” He handed her the quill and pointed at the open book. “And sign for the rest of your party, too.”
“I can sign my own name.” Estelle straightened her shoulders. “Please.”
Signora Rosso did not respond, but when she’d finished writing, she passed Estelle the quill.
Estelle scratched out her signature with a steady hand.
The man raised an eyebrow. “Where did you learn to write like a scribe?”
“That’s my business, signor.”
When she turned away, she saw Signora Rosso holding back a smile.
Amy Maroney studied English Literature at Boston University and worked for many years as a writer and editor of nonfiction. She lives in Oregon, U.S.A. with her family. When she’s not diving down research rabbit holes, she enjoys hiking, dancing, traveling, and reading.
Amy is the author of The Miramonde Series, an Amazon-bestselling historical mystery trilogy about a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern-day scholar on her trail. Amy’s award-winning historical adventure/romance series, Sea and Stone Chronicles, is set in medieval Rhodes and Cyprus.
An enthusiastic advocate for independent publishing, Amy is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and the Historical Novel Society.
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Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/amy-maroney
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