Friday, October 23, 2015

New Review: Anita Mills’ THE FIRE AND THE FURY – Superb Storytelling in this Medieval from the 12th Century

The is the 4th in Mills’ Fire series and it’s a very good one, one that can be read as a stand alone. Set in Scotland, Normandy and England in 1137 (prologue in 1127), this is the story of Giles of Moray whose birthright was taken from him. While still a teenager, he got it back in a brutal slaying of those responsible. Ever thereafter they called him “the Butcher of Dunashie”, a knight to be feared.

Elizabeth of Rivaux had been married by her noble father to one Ivo who was “no husband” to her and, because of him, she wants no other, though she is in her early 20’s and her father, Lord of Celesin, would see her wed. When war looms between Stephen and Matilda, Elizabeth becomes her father’s “liegeman” vowing to guard his castle at Henlowe while he and her brother are off fighting. On her way to Henlowe, disguised as a nun, she is attacked by her former father-in-law’s men. Giles comes to her rescue and escort her to Henlowe. But once there, in a fit of temper, she turns on him, taking him prisoner.

Elizabeth and Giles get off on the wrong foot but he likes her for her courage and her spirit and means to have the feisty woman any way he can. And Elizabeth can be reasonable… when she gets what she wants!

I loved the tortured hero and the woman who hid her hurt with anger. Both had been disappointed in their prior marriages. Mills deftly weaves in the history of the time as King Stephen tries to hold onto his throne while threatened by Empress Matilda. Giles sides with Stephen and Elizabeth’s family with the Empress.

Mills is such a good storyteller. And her historical research shines through as she includes rich historical detail and terminology of the period when knights fought for their king. The only thing the book lacked I wanted was a map.

Buy on Amazon

 A worthy romance and another great installment in the Fire series:

Lady of Fire (Eleanor of Nantes and Roger FitzGilbert, set in 1085)
Fire and Steel (Guy, Count of Rivaux, Eleanor’s son, and Catheine of the Condes, set 1106)
Hearts of Fire (Gilliane de Lacey and Richard of Rivaux, Elizabeth’s brother, set 1135)
The Fire and the Fury (Elizabeth of Rivaux, Guy’s daughter, and Giles of Dunashie, set 1137)
Winter Roses (Arabella of Byrum and William of Blackleith (Giles’ brother, “Willie”, in book 4, set in 1132)


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