Planet Books


Troubadour by Isolde Martyn


Australian author Isolde Martyn takes us into the early 13th century in her eighth historical fiction novel Troubadour. Set during the time of Pope Innocent’s call for a religious crusade on the south of France – an area known for its troubadours and religious tolerance – this stand-alone story is rich in detail, including era-appropriate language. Conveniently, Martyn has added a list of historical and fictional characters, as well as a glossary of medieval terminology at the back.

I found this book a page-turner, particularly following the events that ignite maidservant Adela’s journey to the fictional French city-state Miracson. Adela is courageous, resourceful, and intelligent as she finds herself mistaken for her dead mistress, and sent to Richart, Lord of Miracson for an arranged marriage, which will hopefully calm the threats of the crusades on Richart’s city.

Martyn hints at forward-thinking characters considering the times, and Richart is a strong leader, if sometimes a tad cocky. With many women viewed as property, I enjoyed that all the female characters were strong-willed. This was particularly evident in the other maidservant Maud, and Lady Blanche, Richart’s grandmother.

The religious hypocrisy in the story is well explained and Martyn keeps the characters impartial; they are simply swept up in the violence and chaos and do what they can to save the people of Miracson and retain their way of life.

At publisher Harlequin’s suggestion, Troubadour may be enjoyed by fans of the Outlander series, or other historical fiction writers like Philippa Gregory.


Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.