Words cannot express how much I wanted to like this book. The premise is that a teenaged girl, visiting her family's French estate, finds a number of old documents written by an ancestor ... a minstrel named Amos.
Amos first takes up an apprentice, Richard, whose identity becomes blindingly obvious very early on (view spoiler)[ he's the heir to the English throne (hide spoiler)]. However, we trot along with Amos and Richard doing their minstrel thing, which seems primarily to consist of telling stories as opposed to singing. And that's all well and good ... even if one of the stories is a goat joke I've heard from a favorite Irish musician I don't even know how many times. Someone is always coming after them to kill them, and they narrowly escape I don't know how many times.
Of course, we eventually get the big reveal and all is restored. Overall, I felt like this book was aimed at the 8- to 9-year-old set as opposed to mid-grade or young adult. It's obvious that a great deal of research went into the book (the author even includes a bibliography), but it just fell flat for me.