Saturday, November 10, 2012

New Review: Tina St. John’s LADY OF VALOR – 1st in her Warrior trilogy, a Moving Medieval Story, Rich in Historical Detail

This was my second medieval by St. John (Lord of Vengeance was the first), and I thought it an amazing read. She has a great medieval voice and has meticulously recreated life in 12th century England while drawing the reader in to a compelling story of a tortured hero and a lady trying to maintain her independence in a world that leaves women few choices.

Sir Cabal, known as “Blackheart,” the fiercest of King Richard’s warrior knights, is commanded to return to England from the Crusade to hold Fallonmour castle until the king can name a new lord and find a husband for the young widow, Lady Emmalyn. Cabal cares nothing for the assignment, but he is a dutiful knight so he goes. He is not prepared for the beauty that greets him. Lady Emmalyn is not sorry her cruel husband is dead. In the three years he’s been away the keep has thrived under her care. Now she dreads what this new guardian will mean for her people—and for herself.

The characters are richly drawn, the story convincing, the emotion real. Cabal is a hardened soldier with an ignoble past who lives with regret for his brutal life of killing though it is all he has ever known. He falls in love with the beautiful, tenderhearted Emmalyn, but knows he can never have her. She returns his love and tries desperately to convince him he is a worthy hero—just the kind of heroine we love—but to no avail.

The dowager Queen Eleanor is a character as well as her son, Richard the Lionheart, adding realism to the story.

I wholeheartedly recommend this one.

The Warrior trilogy:


The chronological order:

WHITE LIONS LADY (1179 and 1189)
LADY OF VALOR (1192, 1193)

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