Saturday, April 22, 2017
Review: Cordia Byers’ SILK AND STEEL – Absorbing Tale from 14th Century Scotland—a Classic with a Wonderful Heroine!
I didn’t have to read very far into this story to know Byers had delivered another great romance. Set in the Borderlands of Scotland in 1333, it tells of a Scottish clan that is decimated by a battle with King Edward’s knights. Left in charge is the young 18-year-old heir who leads the clan in a last desperate attempt to retain control of their castle, Raven’s Keep. But they are unsuccessful; and though the young heir fights hard, Edward’s knight, Justin St. Claire, wins the day and claims the castle. It is only when he goes to have the young heir flogged that he realizes Lord Cregan’s heir is a woman.
Jamelyn (“Jami” to her men) is a courageous young woman who was raised as a son by her uncle, Lord Cregan. When King Edward, for his own purposes, commands Justin to wed the rebellious girl, who understandably hates the English, the real battle begins. Jamelyn means to outwit the arrogant Englishman who is critical of her and her people.
From the very beginning, I loved this heroine and finding out what would happen to her had me turning pages way past my bedtime. However, I have to say it was a bit of “loved her, hated him” story. Jamelyn was manipulated by every man she’d known, first her uncle, then Justin, then Anthony (Justin’s friend) and even King Edward. Justin acts the cur time and again, even flaunting his mistress in front of his wife. I was (at least at one point) tempted to feel sorry for his mistress because though she was a bitter, vengeful woman who would stop at nothing to have the man she wanted, she had loved Justin since she was 15.
It is an absorbing story that I was unwilling to put down. Byers brings many threads together at the end for a satisfying finish. I recommend it!