Monday, October 3, 2016
Review: Christina Dodd’s CANDLE IN THE WINDOW – Medieval with a Blind Heroine
Set in England in 1153 (at the time when Stephen was King of England and Matilda’s son Henry vied with him for the throne, this is the story of Lady Saura de Roget, a wellborn but blind heiress who has learned to use her abilities despite the lack of sight. When Roger de Miraval happens to see how well she organized her stepfather’s castle, he sees her as the solution to his son’s blindness caused by a battle injury.
Sir William de Miraval is wallowing in self-pity having lost his ability to be the magnificent knight he once was. Saura does not tell him of her own blindness when she agrees to Sir Roger’s request she come to Miraval and set things right.
One afternoon, Saura ends up in Sir William’s bath and he kisses her thinking she is a servant, never knowing she is actually Saura, the one he thinks is an aging nun come to bring order to their keep. But soon he will recover his sight and discover that Saura is a beautiful young woman…
What can I say? Dodd has done her research and always tells a good tale. She has a good medieval voice and describes well the medieval setting (castle, knights, dress and food). Most of the story takes place in William’s keep as he and Saura pursue their relationship (the battles take place off scene). The characters are well developed and the dialog rich.
There is enough treachery, envy and intrigue to hold your interest as the new love between William and Saura is challenged. There was William’s desire for a deeper love and Saura’s more traditional view of a wife’s obedience to her husband as gratitude for his kindness. In the middle, we lingered in the castle with Saura. But then one of William’s friends abducts her and the suspense builds.
A worthy tale.