Cheaney is a great writer!
I have only skimmed this book, I bought it for a school library overseas, but I love Jeanie Cheaney's writing in World Magazine and look forward to getting a chance to sit down with another copy of this book--I got 3 total--and reading it and the book that comes before it, "The Playmaker". Novels set in past times with historical characters in them are a painless way to get kids to imbibe some history and culture, so I am always on the lookout for true historical fiction writers. The genre has been seriously undermined by books that are total fluff but set in a past time period and so puffed off as "historical fiction", but so full of errors and modern agendas (like feminism or egalitarianism) that the 'fiction' is the only accurate part of the label! But Cheaney has done her research and stayed true to the mindset of her chosen period.