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2.9 out of 5 stars
Joining
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on May 28, 2003
Set in 1200s in England under the rule of King John. Milisant Crispin is a nineteen year old tomboy betrothed, since she was born, to Wulfric de Thorpe who is now 25 years old. The match was made between their respective fathers who are great friends. Milisant and Wulfric have only met once previously when she was 6 years old and he 13 years old, an unpleasant meeting that neither of them could forget. Given one month to get to know each other before the wedding, sparks fly when Milisant and Wulf are thrown together but there is a hidden danger lying in wait for Milisant.
A sweet story. However, I didn't find the relationship between Wulfric and Milisant very convincing. Milisant is so unpleasant to Wulfric I can't see what made him fall in love with her. Still it's a good read. I prefer the prequel though, Defy Not the Heart, Ranulf and Reina's story.
Lealing
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2003
I purchased the audio version of this book, hoping for a light, entertaining book, set in the era of King Richard's cowardly brother John. Instead, this is an anachronistic tale of Milisant, a eighteen year old woman who dresses like a boy, fights like a man, and doesn't want to get married to any man. (If this were a Xena novel, I would expect a plot like this and applaud the heroines independence. Since this is supposed to be a serious historical novel, I found myself sighing and rolling my eyes at the anachronistic behavior).
Despite this rather typical start, the novel gets worse. Milisant is just not LIKEABLE. Her reasons for disliking Wulfric (she bears a grudge from a childhood play accident), were silly, and could be resolved if the characters would spend 5 minutes together simply TALKING to one another. Milisant's 'love of animals' bordered on the ridiculous, as she travels with cages of wild animals wherever she goes. (Milisant's love for animals, apparently doesn't include loving them enough to let them go free).
Wulfric, the hero, seemed okay, but was rather under-developed and, was completely eclipsed by Milisant's strong, shrewish personality.
This book held no surprises. Read it if you must, but I found it disappointing.
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on October 23, 2002
Milisant Crispin and Wulfric de Thorpe have been promised to each other since childhood. Their fathers are excellent friends, and are consolidating their friendship through the marriage of their eldest children. However, due to a mutually painful incident when they were children, neither Mili nor Wulf can stand the other. They have avoided each other ever since. It is now some years past the time when they should have been wed, and Wulf's father has insisted that Wulf claim his reluctant bride. Milisant is wild and different, disdainful of her being born female and the constraints it imposes on her. She and Wulf discover they still have nothing in common. She is wary of his size and power, convinced because of the pain she endured in their first (and only) meeting that Wulf will physically dominate and even harm her. It leads her to be stubborn, aggressive and argumentative, stiff and unbending to any request. Which does little to endear herself to Wulf.
Unknown to all, a third, unrelated party also does not want the marriage, and has conspired with non other than King John to ensure that it does not come about. To do that, he must arrange for Milisant's death, something that he does not hesitate to do...
I found the book very well researched, from the description of the clothing to the history of King's Richard and John, and the gossip of the realm. The court intrigue, although occupying only a few pages, was well done and set the plot in motion. I liked that the 'mystery' of the book had nothing to do with the central characters themselves, too. The threat, although known in full to the reader, comes out of the blue to the characters themselves. The story develops well, is peopled with enjoyable characters and sufficient humour. I found especially touching where Milisant finally realises that Wulf would do anything NOT to see her hurt. The development of feelings - positive and negative - between these two is completely believable. I also liked the approach taken with Mili, the feminist sub-plot which Lindsey has woven into the tale.
It is not a tale bursting with heat and passion (as Lindsey can do so well), rather more a discovery of feeling, and a fine tale firmly set in its period. Something a little different from my previous reading by this author, but also very enjoyable.
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on July 7, 2002
Oh my gosh I was never so glad to be finished with a book. I kept wanting Millisant to stop whining and grow up. And the broken foot thing I didn't understand that.She wore her shoe for a year so her foot would heal and she never told him or anyone ?
The whole story was fragmented and pointless.
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on March 13, 2002
Johanna Lindsey is of course superb, and if the book was written by anyone else, I would have given it one star. However, Lindsay can write beautifully, even when the plot and characters are boring or stereotypical. I found Milisant's character annoying and completely out of character for the era she lived in, at times she truly irritated me to the extent that I would have slapped her had she been real. Her independence seemed pointless and more like pig-headedness than anything else at several points in the story. Her insistence on having her way simply makes her more annoying. Overall, she must rate as one of my least favorite heroines.
Wulfric is not as bad as Milisant, but he could have done with some improvements as well. The book does not lack 'fire' between the protagonists, who usually manage to end up at each other's throat, but I found most of the scenes repetitive and the antagonism dragged on much too long.
Overall, this is not one of Lindsay's landmarks. Stick to the Malory series by the same author if you want a really satisfying and enjoyable read.
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on March 12, 2002
This book was nice and easy to read. I tore through it in one day. Milisant and Jhone are sisters and there are alot of funny scenes between them. Wulfric is the hero of the story and I would have liked to have gotten to know him a bit better, but what I did read I liked. There is hardly any sex scenes in this book, for sensuality I'd give it a 3. There is some tension between Wulfric and Milisant, but not too much. Things went pretty easy for both of them. I'd would be interested to read a story about sister Jhone!
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on January 27, 2002
Joining is one of Johanna Lindsey's best books. I love it.
The two main characters are likable. The storyline is beautifully woven. Ms.Lindsey well mixes thriller with romance. I also love all of Milisant's pets. One of them even helps Wulfric to find her when she is abducted. Milisant's twin sister, Jhon, is also very lovable. I wish there were a book of her own story. All in all, this is a light read and I highly recommend it.
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on September 24, 2001
I am a big fan of Johanna Lindsey. I absolutely LOVE her Malory novels - enough to read them a few times over. Unfortunately, I wasn't real pleased with this particular book. The heroin - Milisant - will grate on your nerves, and there is not enough writing about the Hero - Wulf - to really feel like you know the character. A majority of your time is spent reading about how much Milisant hates being a woman, or at least what she thinks are the shackles that come along with being one. So much time was spent thinking about the enormous chip on her shoulder, that a potentially great and hilarious storyline was lost. It seemed that Ms. Lindsey either had a deadline to reach, or maybe her heart just wasn't in this one. I think that it would happen to the best of us. If this was the first book you have read of Ms. Lindsey's, please try another. I promise she won't let you down. She is a wonderful author. I would HIGHLY recommend The Magic Of You. I laughed my head off, all the while my heart melted.
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on September 9, 2001
"Joining" is the term used in Medieval times to refer to the final consummation and alliance between a betrothed couple and their families. Such "joinings" created powerful political and strategic alliances between members of the aristocracy. This book is aptly named, for it is the story of two families that wish to strengthen their ties to one another by betrothing their children, who as adults, are unhappy with the contract to marry each other. It is a delightful story, and the characters are interesting but Ms. Lindsey does not develop them as well as in many of her other books. She describes a "different" type of heroine, with many unusual abilities that could have been more utilized. Her subordinate characters, a half brother and a twin sister could also have had better roles. The twin had the potential to really add to the storyline, but she was mostly a background figure. These are minor criticisms compared to the pleasure Ms. Lindsey's novels always bring. This is a fine light read, perfect for briefly escaping the humdrum of real life.
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on September 9, 2001
"Joining" is the term used in Medieval times to refer to the final consummation and alliance between a betrothed couple and their families. Such "joinings" created powerful political and strategic alliances between members of the aristocracy. This book is aptly named, for it is the story of two families that wish to strengthen their ties to one another by betrothing their children, who as adults, are unhappy with the contract to marry each other. It is a delightful story, and the characters are interesting but Ms. Lindsey does not develop them as well as in many of her other books. She describes a "different" type of heroine, with many unusual abilities that could have been more utilized. Her subordinate characters, a half brother and a twin sister could also have had better roles. The twin had the potential to really add to the storyline, but she was mostly a background figure. These are minor criticisms compared to the pleasure Ms. Lindsey's novels always bring. This is a fine light read, perfect for briefly escaping the humdrum of real life.
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