Saturday, October 12, 2013
New Review: Jenna Jaxon’s BETROTHAL –Superb Glimpse of the Mating Habits in Edward III’s Court, But Way Too Short
Set in England in 1348, this tells of Lady Alyse de Courcy who has a crush on Thomas, Lord Braeton, a nobleman in King Edward III’s court, but she is shortly betrothed by the king to another suitor, Braeton’s friend, Sir Geoffrey Longford. Sir Geoffrey sees Alyse’s lands as a prize and is not displeased with the maid his father chose for him. Over the next few days he manages to become quite taken with her and quite jealous of all her other admirers.
This is a well-written story, and the banter is enjoyable even though there isn’t much history here. The book definitely has a medieval feel, which is good (and hard to achieve), but you have to know going it that it is mostly dialog related to social events at the court. While it was very good, the author left much to our imagination with descriptions.
King Edward is a secondary character, as is his daughter “Princess Joanna.” In history, Edward’s actual daughter Joan, who was betrothed to Pedro of Castile, died en route to Spain in 1348 of the Black Death (the plague), which she contracted in France, and which eventually killed a third of England. Now that would have been a great story to tell, particularly since our hero and heroine were to have accompanied the princess on that voyage.
I can recommend it, but just know that it’s a short novel and a brief glimpse of the mating culture around Edward III’s court.