Monday, January 14, 2013

New Review: Jennifer Horsman’s AWAKEN MY FIRE – Absorbing Medieval Romance in France with a Proud Knight Hero and an Inspiring Feisty Heroine

Set in 15th century, in that time of knights and Henry VI’s domination of France, this tells the story of French noblewoman Roshelle de la Never, daughter of the magician Papillion and raised at the Valois court, who at 13 was forced by her guardian, the Duke of Orleans, bending to pressure from her wicked, occult uncle, Rodez Valois, to wed an old duke she did not want.

To save Roshelle, Papillion curses the girl at her wedding, saying any man who tries to bed her will die before he can accomplish the deed. And before the night is done the old duke is dead. Now, years later she is still a maid and has seen two husbands to their graves and several men dead for trying to take her against her will. She has become the champion of her people, giving them hope to fight the English knights who would conquer their lands. The conquering English are led by Vincent de la Eresman, Duke of Suffolk, a handsome proud warrior who has been sent by King Henry to rein in the beautiful and rebellious girl holding her castle.

Roshelle is a worthy heroine. Even as a young girl she was unselfish and noble, loved by her servants. Now she is fighting for her life and her people. Her beauty makes Vincent weak in the knees. He is such a proud warrior it is sweet justice. We love it. But he is also a noble hero and so he treats Roshelle and her people well, winning their hearts notwithstanding his loyalty to the dreaded English king.

There’s lots of history in this one and lots of intrigue, treachery and action. It’s a satisfying story with many twists and turns, an evil, devious villain, and some wonderful secondary characters. You have to stay alert to pick up all the background and all the threads. It’s a book to get lost in on a rainy day. I recommend it!

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