Sunday, October 5, 2014
New Review: Elise Cyr’s SIEGE OF THE HEART – Great Debut and an Entertaining William the Conqueror Romance
The story is set in the south of England, beginning in December 1066, a few months after the Battle of Hastings. Lady Isabel receives word her father, a thegn, while on his way to Hastings, died of wounds sustained at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, fighting for King Harold. And then a Norman knight, Alexandre d’Evreux, shows up at her castle at Ashdown to take her and her family to meet William, soon to be crowned king.
Isabel has no desire to leave, particularly when she has received no word of her brother who fought at Hastings. So she stalls the knight, telling him she is waiting for her father. Little does she know that William has already given both Ashdown and her to Alex.
Alex is a noble and gentle knight, a saint when it comes to the rebellious Isabel. Rather than demand his way, he prefers to woo her. He tells Isabel only that he is charged with taking her and her father to London. And Isabel withholds the truth from him that her father is dead. Though Isabel is resigned to her fate that William will give her to one of his knights, it never occurs to her that Alex is that man. She is independent and can take care of herself—and often does in her battles with the Welsh. She is surprisingly accepting of what has happened to her family and her country.
Cyr brings to life Ashdown and the time immediately after the Conquest, and includes some nice secondary characters. If you like medieval romances set in this time period, this one has to appeal. It will be interesting to see what setting Cyr chooses for her next book, but with her fondness for the medieval subgenre, we can expect more like this!