"The Queen's Gift" is a historical mystery in which Dom Pedro, while still a very young man, sets out to solve a puzzle that has long troubled his grandmother, Queen Isabel. When she was a young woman, two young squires disappeared from her court without a word of warming or farewell. They were never heard from again. In this thrilling novel, Pedro offers to see if he can learn, even at this late date, what happened to them. He must travel, seek out and question many people. And the results of his search become a legend.
The backdrop for this unforgettable tale is fourteenth century Portugal. The central character is a man who existed: Pedro I, eighth king of Portugal, who ruled from 1357-1367. Known to some as Pedro the Cruel because of the harsh (even by medieval standards) sentences he imposed on criminals; others knew him as Pedro the Just for two reasons. First, as king he was the ultimate source of justice in the land and one of his favorite pastimes was presiding over the trials of criminals. Second, unlike many judges of his own time (and even modern times), he was not influenced by the social standing of the accused. Rich or poor, noble, or common, all – if found guilty – suffered the punishment prescribed by law, nothing less. This series of tales shows Pedro as a discoverer and punisher of crimes.