Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Brenda Joyce's Trilogy of Medieval Romances
Brenda Joyce is one of my favorite authors and she has served up a wonderful trilogy of medievals. It begins with The Conqueror but I'm starting with book 2, The Promise of the Rose.
Set in 1093 (with a prologue in 1076), this tells the story of Stephen de Warenne, bastard son and heir of the Earl of Northumberland, and Mary, fictional daughter of Malcolm Canmore, King of Scots.
Proud loyal Mary, when taken captive by Stephen, refuses to reveal her identity so Stephen decides to have her. Afterward, learning she is the Scottish princess, he conceives of the idea of marrying her for political reasons. And he does, while talking peace but planning to attack Scotland on orders from his king, William Rufus. Thus he betrays Mary. But when he discovers her eavesdropping upon his battle plans (she is shocked by what she hears), he calls her traitor. An unforgiving man, he vows to use her like a wife but give her no affection. Clearly, he did not deserve such a wonderful woman.
I loved this heroine, that she would defy the arrogant Norman knight who thought to claim her. And I loved that she was a Scots patriot, more loyal than many men. Initially I also loved the hero who was a man of honor and firm resolve, but his later harsh treatment of his bride made him look the brutal knight.
In revenge for the attack, King Malcolm led an army into Northumbria to besiege Alnwick, Stephen’s home.
It’s fast paced, with well-developed characters and great history on every page. Well researched with many historical figures. It’s Joyce at her best.
Buy on Amazon.
The medieval trilogy:
The Promise of the Rose