I read this book 10 years ago when I was in the Peace Corps. I remember being completely obsessed with it. It took me about three days to read, and I would go to work and could barely contain myself until I could get home and keep reading. I remember it being super gripping but not the greatest writing. It actually seems like a pretty good book, upon second reading. The author had done her research; for example in the Middle Ages people believed that the liver, not the heart, was the site of the passions. Plus this novel is one of my favorite kinds of story: historical fiction involving cross-dressing. The main character is a nobleman's daughter, Alix of Wanthwaite, whose family is killed and their castle sacked. Alix disguises herself as Alex, a boy, to travel and try to get redress from the King. There's a lot of suspense as Alix is trying to get her castle back before puberty kicks in and she can no longer be believable as a boy. There are sequels, which I didn't know about, though I suppose there must not be any cross-dressing in the later books.
23. The Shield of Three Lions by Pamela Kaufman