22. Pearl Ruled: [A PLACE BEYOND COURAGE] by [[ELIZABETH CHADWICK]]Rating: 2* of five (p108)The Book Description: The early twelfth century is a time for ambitious men to prosper, and royal servant John FitzGilbert is one of them. But when the old king dies and his successor is appointed, John faces a terrible choice: he must join the rival faction-his enemies- or risk losing everything. His new wife helps him carry his burden, but his final choice will seal not only her fate, but those of his young children. As the fight for England's crown enters a new phase, John may be forced to make a terrible sacrifice... My Review: I know you're all familiar with the Mary Rose, Henry VIII's sunken battleship, and the mystery surrounding her loss in the Battle of the Solent in 1545. That's the kind of audience I attract, all five of y'all.So when I say “I foundered like the Mary Rose,” I know y'all will instantly picture a mighty carrack, gunports hazed in smoke, bravely firing upon the hated French Navy's galleys, when suddenly the vast edifice heels to starboard, takes on water, and vanishes beneath the waves.Aline laid her cheek against his breast and struggled not to weep. He had said he wanted her to be steadfast. “Thank you, my lord, thank you.”Above her, she heard him sigh. He tilted up her chin, kissed her damp cheek, then sought a fresh tunic. She saw him note the jumbled state of the coffer contents, but he said nothing. Aline dug her fingernails into the palms of her hands, and swore to try harder. (p108, US softcover edition)The mighty ship of my pleasure in history, and in historical fiction, sank beneath the waves of the River Lethe, as all memory of consciousness and its cares and woes leaked from my snoring, drooling mouth.