Dashing knights, chivalry, sword fights, castles, damsels in distress. A great medieval story with everything you could wish for
I loved this story, it contained everything that I love from this period. I couldn't have wished for more. The writing made the story totally believable and it was also pure escapism.
Sir William, The Lion, needs to rescue his sister and daughters from the clutches of a cruel and beast for a husband who abuses her. He goes to Lord Brandon to ask to raise an army to fight for his sister against her tyrannical husband Lord Sommerfield. His request is turned down, but Lord Brandon's youngest son, Christian known as The Crow offers his services to escort William to the castle of Lord Sommerfield and there he would challenge him.
Christian had already seen William at the tournament and was attracted to him immediately and this was mutual. They set out together and Christian breaks down the moral defences of William eventually and both give in to their carnal desires. I really liked the way the author made this all totally believable for the time. There was no lovey-dovey romance, but two tough knights caught up in their passion for each other. Though inwardly William is still battling with his demons as at that time it would have been a big no-no. William is chivalrous to the point of stubbornness which only ends up infuriating Christian however even The Lion for all his strength can't deny the feelings he develops for Christian.
Christian works out a rather unconventional plan to get the Lady Elaine out of the clutches of her husband and succeeds in killing him using subterfuge. This was a great idea and just loved the way that this was plotted out. After the rescue William's sister realises what is going on and talks sense into her brother."Sometimes, William, what the world asks of us is wrong. And when it is wrong, there is no honour in obeying it."
I loved Lady Elaine, she was calm and collected and said all the things her brother needed to hear. Even Christian realises that he would not be happy living any other life than to be with William. After coming up with yet another plan Christian confronts William."William, I have no choice but to live a life of lies. If I go home and marry a woman of my father's choosing, I will live a lie. At least I can choose the lie and find what happiness I can in the sanctity of my own home."
The plot was simple but effective and found the characters and emotions to be believable for that time. The descriptions were good and takes the reader back to a time of knights of old.
It was heading for a five star read for me personally, but then I got to chapter 8 and unfortunately something happened, that try as I might, I couldn't personally totally ignore. It did grate on me a little. The author uses the word bandit
The word bandit
for this period isn't etymologically correct. It was first coined in English at the end of the 1500s bandit
deriving from the Italian word Bandito
so for this period this word would never have existed. I know I maybe nitpicking and is only a small mistake that can be easily overseen. However, it is an historical novel and this just jarred my personal reading enjoyment a little knowing this fact. After all Robin Hood was an outlaw and not a bandit.
After all is said and done this is a free read and the author has done an excellent job, my comments above are intended as a little constructive feedback. I really enjoyed this short romp back to the Middle Ages and will definitely read more from this author. I also loved the cover!