Who knew? Within this slim book lies treasures unbeknownst to so many hungry readers. Behind the pomp and glamour of the reign of French kings, overshadowed by the legends of Robin Hood, and forgotten after the fame of William the Conqueror, there is a story deserving of far more praise and attention than it receives.

Retold by Charlotte Yonge, it is much more than the early days of royalty, knights, and castles. It is a true tale of how a small boy grew up in a time full of conflict and intrigue. If there is one word with which to sum it up, that word would be: forgiveness.

The first page plunges one into the heart of Normandy in the mid 900’s. After William I Longsword is murdered treacherously, young Richard is left both an orphan and a Duke. He is embittered against the men who killed his father. But soon after, he is caught up in the unknown, as King Louis IV takes Richard to live with him in honor for his deceased ally, Longsword. But all is not as it seems. Hot-headed Richard soon learns – the hard way –  to control his emotions and forgive even the most traitorous enemies.

The Little Duke is an honest, down-to-earth picture of life in medieval times and the emotions and troubles of real people. This true, historical account is written in an old, beautiful style that is easy to read. It is part of a set that I have grown up with and have found to be a book for young and old. Although it is not a thick volume, it keeps the reader on the edge of his seat. I strongly recommend it as a perfect read to devour over the holidays.