In Tang Dynasty China, magistrate Li Chen possesses a fondness for Song Yi, a skilled courtesan who is indentured at the House of Heavenly Peaches. Despite the fact that they feel drawn to each other, it’s as if cruel fate is determined to separate them. He has his obligations to the Emperor and his family to think about. Eventually, two shocking things happen.
When Robert FitzStephan and his wife, Eleanor (“Noor”), incur the wrath of Eleanor, Queen of England, they are placed in a horrible predicament. Robert is a captain in the service of King Edward I, and Noor is Queen Eleanor’s niece. They are exiled from England and sent abroad to Castile and Aragon as emissaries. Before they leave, Eleanor commands them to do two things: find a precious gem called the Castilian Pomegranate and give up their foster son, Lionel.
Judith is the daughter of a heartless Saxon lord, Cerdic, Thane of Oakwood. After her mother passes away, her father marries a wicked Norman woman named Bertha. Thereafter, she is treated as a servant: forced to work and thrashed for every minor infraction. In 1066, when her father dies at the Battle of Hastings and England falls under Norman rule, her life changes for the better. Raoul “the Hawk” is a Norman baron who is given Oakwood and the adjacent lands.
In this third installment in the “Emma of Normandy” trilogy, Emma, queen of Æthelred the Unready has been trapped in a miserable, loveless marriage for years. She survives the best she can with a cold and cruel husband who us haunted by the ghost of his deceased brother. Like any devoted mother, she protects the interests of her children, especially since her husband has so many sons from his first marriage.
It is 1062 AD. During the High Middle Ages, Countess Matilde of Tuscany is one of the most powerful women in all of Christendom. A descendant of the legendary Charlemagne, she is an heiress who stands to inherit vast lands. She lives in a world where strictures are placed upon women, including those who wield great power. While she is powerful, she must rule with a man by her side. Enter Gottfried, Duke of Lower Lotharingia.
Andrea Cefalo’s The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen was a refreshing and fascinatingly medieval take on a classic fairy tale. This book started off at a fast pace but I feel that it did drag at certain parts. Regardless of the pace of the story, the author wrote so beautifully and in such a descriptive way that I felt that I was there in the 13th century.
Life is anything but easy for Empress Matilda, daughter of Henry I of England. As a child she was married to Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor, and now as a young woman in her twenties, she is forced to marry again, this time Geoffrey of Anjou, whom she considers a nobody. Meanwhile Matilda’s heart belongs to the dashing auburn-haired Stephen, Count of Boulogne, but Stephen is already married, and Matilda’s father will not permit the match.
The proud and beautiful young Mahelt Marshal lives with her two indulgent parents, William Marshal, 1st Earl Pembroke and Isabelle de Clare, 4th Countess of Pembroke. She is something of a favored child and the apple of her father’s eye. Throughout the entirety of her childhood, her parents were forbearing and rather easygoing when it came to her.