Then we are sent back 20 years to where it began, when she was just a young child raised among nobility. With the death of her parents, she became mistress of Rushden Castle. She was a beauty even then. She and her treasured brother Giles, who is only a bit older than she and now Lord of Rushden, will have a "warden" appointed by the King to see to the young children's needs. But King Edward IV does not give them a kind man and so their youth is a hard one. Isabella's only solace is in her menagerie in the stables where she cares for and heals hurt animals.
Typical of Brandewyne’s novels, it is divided into five "books": Against the Summer Sky, The Rose of Rapture, The Windswept Moors, Tears, and Lonely Sojourn. Book one begins in 1490, then we're back to 1470, then back to 1453 as we experience the beginnings of Warrick ap Tremayne, a half Welsh bastard of an English lord who grows up at his father's castle, Hawkhurst, to be a favored knight of Edward. When their first warden dies, the king makes Warrick the new warden of Rushden, and though he has no desire to marry, betroths him to Isabella, now 15. But she loves another...
I'll warn you the ending is bittersweet, but it's a great love story...a well told tale of two worthy characters living in a tumultuous time. Highly recommended.
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