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I read this book sometime around 2012-2013; it was a book series- with around five books in the series, I believe. The books were fairly long in length, and the cover was a dark blue, with gold engraving around it. I can't remember the title or author, or much of the plot unfortunately. what I do remember:

  • the mc is a girl
  • the girl went to a museum or something and visited a tomb- that's how she time traveled to the middle ages
  • there's a scene in the first book when she's traveling on a wagon with a bard and some others
  • there is a romantic subplot (i believe the love interest is the bard)
  • as the story progresses through the books, the girl and some other characters arrive at an alter of an ancient god. the girl learns that she or one of her friends will have to sacrifice themselves so that she can go back to her time
  • the love interest ends up sacrificing himself so that she can go back- and it works
  • when she visits the tomb again, she finds out that the tomb is that of the love interest who died- but then he walks right out of it (it turns out he was the ancient god)

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A long shot, but is this possibly Crown of Dalemark, fourth in Diana Wynne Jones' Dalemark quartet? It doesn't quite fit, but some elements are similar to your recollections.

Spoilers below:

The main character is a girl called Maewen. She is from modern times (though a slightly alternate world to our own) but travels back in time after visiting Tannoreth Palace where her father works, which is now mostly a museum with guided tours, etc. Part of the palace she visits is the tomb of Amil the Great, a king from two hundred years ago. She is sent back by Wend, a man working as her father's assistant, to take the place of a girl called Noreth, who apparently disappeared two hundred years ago on her way to becoming queen of Dalemark. Wend apparently wants Maewen to take her place so he can learn why she disappeared (which led to Amil becoming king instead); it turns out Wend is actually one of the Undying, immortal people somewhat similar to gods (and a character from The Spellcoats, third book in the quartet). Maewen takes her place in the traditional royal progress along with several followers, which include the cart of Hestefan the Singer, equivalent to a bard, and Moril, another Singer (from Cart and Cwidder, another book in the quartet). Through the journey Maewen ends up falling in love with one of the followers, Mitt (from Drowned Ammet, the other book in the quartet). At the end of the book it turns out Mitt actually becomes King Amil. Maewen returns to modern times, and is heartbroken that the person she loves is a king who died two hundred years ago. The evil force that is behind the quartet has also returned to her time, though, and escaped from Amil's Tomb; but it gets defeated by Mitt, who as it turns out is also one of the Undying, and still alive (his tomb is just a ruse).

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  • thank you so much! this was the series i was looking for!
    – Beck Akin
    Jun 29, 2020 at 19:57

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