Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New Review: Elizabeth Stuart’s BRIDE OF THE LION – Unquestionably One of the Finest Medieval Romances!

You know you’ve read a great novel when you don’t want it to end. Winner of Romantic Times’ best Medieval Historical Romance for 1995, this is an enthralling 12th century tale from one of the best historical romance authors.

Robert de Langley became famous as the Lion of Normandy as he fought at his father’s side for King Stephen—until he died in a fiery inferno surrounded by Henry de Anjou’s men in a church in France. At least that’s what everyone thought. But the Lion didn’t die. He survived to return to England with one goal in mind: to retake his family’s castle, Belavoir, from the dreaded Lord Montagne who had seized it, and to continue the fight against Henry de Anjou, now duke of Normandy. When Montagne leaves on a trip to London, Robert and his loyal men take the castle by treachery, much to the delight of all at Belavoir—all except Montagne’s daughters. Left in charge by her father, though she is his least favorite because her dark coloring reminds him of his Welsh second wife, Jocelyn Montagne makes it clear to Robert that while the castle is rightfully his, she will fight him to protect the her virtue and that of her sister.

Stuart has a gift with words. Her descriptions take on a lyrical quality as she reaches for ways of describing what her mind sees that bring the scenes to life in a vivid way (“Jocelyn held her breath, watching as Robert de Langley surged across the plain like an angel of death. His sword rose and fell with a grace that was both beautiful and terrifying to behold, with a stark economy of motion that was unstoppable.”) It’s a pleasure to read a story that draws you in on each page. And she does not neglect the developing romance between a hero who has long ago stopped trusting women and a woman who is worthy of his trust above all others but believes no one wants her. There’s lots of history here, too, for us history lovers as Henry Plantagenet (Henry II) seeks the English throne. (If you like history with your historical romance and not just some vague background, you’ll like this story.)

I promise you will love this one!

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