Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New Review: Denise Domning’s THE WARRIOR’S GAME – Authentic Medieval with a Great Alpha Male Hero in the time of King John

This is the third in the Warrior Series (it follows THE WARRIOR’S WIFE and THE WARRIOR’S MAIDEN) but it can be read alone. All three are set in the time of King John and the Magna Carta, a foundational document adopted at the urging of rebellious barons in the 13th century limiting the powers of the king.

THE WARRIOR’S GAME is the story of Lady Amica del la Beres (“Ami”), the widow of a knight and the ward of King John. Unbeknownst to Ami, the king has promised her to one of his favored knights, Sir Michel de Martigny, a commoner son of a merchant who distinguished himself at the siege of Nantes. No match for a king’s ward in Ami’s mind. Michel wants lands and heirs and is hoping the king will keep his promise and give him Ami. With that apparently in mind, the king has made Michel administrator of Ami’s manors, much to Ami’s chagrin.

Ami is a woman who is strong in all things except when it comes to Sir Michel. Whenever he touches her, she melts in his arms and turns into a tart. Being well aware of that, and a man who has made his way in the world through his ruthless intelligence and courage, Michel uses it to his advantage, embarrassing her for her disdain of his commoner origins. But then Ami plays into his hand several times.

Domning’s story reflects much research into the 13th century life at court and these historic details add richness and authenticity to the tale. Not just the historical setting, but the historic sounds and smells. You feel like you are there with Ami, struggling to gain a toehold on the future when she is merely a woman who, at the king’s whim, could be given to some unacceptable man, like Sir Michel, for example. No matter the knight is handsome and sexy and his kisses render her a mushball. The king would play his game and she is but a pawn.

If you like a real historic feel in your historical romance and you like the medieval period, this is the romance for you. It’s well written and kept me turning pages. I recommend it.

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