Thursday, October 3, 2013

New Review: Katherine Vickery’s Desire of the Heart – A Worthy Tale of Love in the Time of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury

Originally published in 1990 and now available in eBook, it is set in London and Canterbury, England in 1162-64 (Epilogue 1170), and tells the story of Kendra, a peasant whose sister died while giving birth to the child of their brutal overlord’s rape. When Kendra plunges a knife in the overlord, she is saved from death by his brother, Geoffrey de Bron, who pleads for her life. King Henry II, who has promised Geoffrey a boon, gives her to Geoffrey.

There’s a worthy Author’s note at the beginning that sets the stage for the conflict between King Henry and Thomas Becket, selected by the king to be Archbishop of Canterbury. One is the head of the government; the other the head of the church—destined to clash. I value that the author did the research to include meaningful history, though there were places where it a bit thick even for me. The hero is a cleric who works for Becket so we get to see the history develop through his eyes.

I liked the way the attraction between Geoffrey and Kendra slowly builds. Geoffrey wants Kendra but cannot marry her—not because she is Saxon, but because she is lowborn Saxon, a peasant. Not surprisingly, they come together anyway. But Becket is not happy to learn of it and tells Geoffrey he must lose the girl. Kendra, hearing this, steals away in the night.

It’s a well-told tale from an interesting period in England’s history with insights into the lives of real historic personages. Saxon Christmas traditions are included, as well. If you like real history in your romance and want a good long read (407 pages), you’ll enjoy this one. The author puts you in the period and helps you understand what life was like for the lower classes in the 12th century and also the machinations of the church and royalty at the time.

Book 2 in the de Bron saga is ARROW TO THE HEART, a Robin Hood tale.

The author has several pen names, among them Kathryn Kramer (UNDER GYPSY SKIES) and Kathryn Hockett (THE LEGEND’S LADY) should you want to look for more of hers.

No comments:

Post a Comment