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Content by Kimberly Gelderman
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Reviews Written by
Kimberly Gelderman (Spring Lake, MI USA)

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To The Castle
To The Castle
by Joan Wolf
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
31 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars TO THE CASTLE is an OK Read..., June 6 2007
This novel isn't in the same league as her other novels, especially her Dark Ages Series and NO DARK PLACE & THE POISONED SERPENT. The story follows Nell de Bonvile and Roger de Roche and how and why they came to be together in the era of the War of the Roses between King Stephen and Maude. They were thrown together by chance when Roger's original betrothed, Sybilla de Bonvile, Nell's older sister dies. Her father continues the wedding plans with Nell as her replacement. Never mind that she has been convent raised from a young age.

The story continues to follow their lives together in a rather mundane fashion. Parts of the book seemed unrealistic such as the husband waiting for the bride to be ready to consummate the marriage. The story moved rather slowly with no real surprises in the plot. Not one of Joan Wolf's best!

by Laurence J. Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 29.02
13 used & new from CDN$ 1.25

5.0 out of 5 stars HOUSECARL Is A Riveting Tale of England 1064-1066!, April 17 2007
This review is from: Housecarl (Paperback)
This is another worthy story about Harold I & William of Normandy which will culminate into the Battle of Hastings, October 14, 1066. The characters are realistically portrayed, even the fictional ones, such as Ranulf Redbeard, personal champion and housecarl of King Harold. Several events led up to the inevitable historical battle of 1066 and the characters endure almost all of them.

King Harold is beset by dreams that would unfortunately come true. After being held prisoner by William in Normandy in 1064 for several months his only escape becomes coercion by William that he swears allegiance, on holy relics, to him especially when he comes to claim the English throne. As a short amount of time passes he is called to Edward the Confessor's deathbed and is bequeathed the throne.

He takes the throne uneasily knowing he has promised William his loyalty. This thought plagues him throughout his short reign. He is a king besieged by conscience and another major battle with Harald Hardraada, the warrior King of Norway. If Harold hadn't had to fight him and then accomplish a forced march back south to confront William, English history would have been forever changed.

This was a truly engaging story even though; I like many others know the tragic outcome. This novel was deserving of better editing, however, so there wouldn't have been glaring proofreading, grammatical and historical errors. I sincerely want to read more of this author's work without these types of errors. I highly recommend HOUSECARL.

Knights Of The Round Table Geraint
Knights Of The Round Table Geraint
by Gwen Rowley
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
28 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE: GERAINT Is A Captivating Read!, April 5 2007
I have read or aspire to read everything in historical fiction concerning Arthurian or spin-off stories from this "legend." In this novel, Geraint and Enid are showcased as very like individuals with the exception that Enid has three magical gifts endowed upon her by The Lady of the Lake. These gifts are a beauty that men find endlessly appealing, the strength of ten men and the ability to cloak or camouflage herself from the eyes of those she does not wish to be seen by.

When Geraint meets his wife she is battling two ruffians. Impressed by Enid's skill and beauty he decides he must marry this woman as he will have her no other way. She is not to be trifled with, however, a few days later after the wedding he wonders if he made a rash decision. His father has always said he's too impetuous.

There are many secrets being withheld between them. Enid's is one of loyalty to her people and training them to be warriors who can successfully defend her tribe. While learning by watching other warriors at Camelot her husband discovers that she would much rather be in the practice yard than embroidering with the ladies. He wonders how much he doesn't know about her and begins to have serious doubts about her fitting in at Arthur's and his father's court, let alone becoming the eventual Queen of Cornwall.

His father sets Geraint out on a mission to meet the people of his domain with his new wife not just with the intention of introduction to their people but to enable Geraint to test her on the journey to determine if she can be trusted. Their adventure leads them into unexpected situations and people with their very lives at stake. Will they grow to finally trust each other with their secrets and work together or will their two kingdoms fight an unnecessary war?

I haven't found many novels that address these two figures in Arthurian times but the author pens a fine read that keeps you on the edge of your seat!

Knights Of The Round Table Lancelot
Knights Of The Round Table Lancelot
by Gwen Rowley
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
23 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE: LANCELOT - A New Spin On An Old Arthurian Tale!, March 24 2007
A very pleasant and surprising novel! I thought to myself, "I'll give this novel a try but I'm not expecting anything new." I was happily disappointed!

Sir Lancelot, King Arthur's first knight, embarks on adventure after adventure starting in Corbenic, the home of Elaine, later mother of his son, Galahad. Stereotypes do not mar the originality of this novel. Lancelot is not who everyone believes he is nor is Guinevere. This is a surprising new twist to their relationship that is refreshingly welcome.

Lancelot or Elaine do not have an easy time of it, from the realities of failed crops to the unwelcome magic of Morgause & The Lady of the Lake, this book has it all!

Will Lancelot and Elaine triumph over all the obstacles in their path or is their love forever doomed? Read on and find out, this story will enthrall you from beginning to end! The second novel in this series is KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE: GERAINT and the third will be KOTRT: GAWAIN (8/07).

Rose of York: Fall from Grace
Rose of York: Fall from Grace
by Sandra Worth
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 21.95
29 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ROSE OF YORK: FALL FROM GRACE Is An Excellent Finish To The Richard III Trilogy!, March 15 2007
I enjoyed this, the last in a trilogy, about King Richard III. He was unfairly maligned by Shakespeare howver Richard III was a man of conscience, who believed in everyone having the same rights. He passed laws especially to protect the poor, who were considered then to basically have no voice in regards to justice.

Unfortunately, Richard's life was one tragedy after another. He loses many of the people he loves and as a result seriously begins to question his "right" to the throne. While his motives are pure those who plot against him for the crown are not.

This was a very fast paced read. Those interested in this English period will be well satisfied. However I'd strongly recommend reading the first two novels in this trilogy first to really get to know the main characters and this time in history.

Pirate Queen
Pirate Queen
by Alan Gold
Edition: Paperback
24 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE PIRATE QUEEN Rules the High Seas!, March 7 2007
This review is from: Pirate Queen (Paperback)
Grace O'Malley led a long and adventurous life. Not always an easy one but one with never a dull moment. From the moment of her first marriage she would not be tamed into a life of a subservient wife. She had a mind of her own and wouldn't let any man, let alone Queen Elizabeth I of England, subdue her.

In Grace's career as a pirate she nearly bankrupted the English treasury, had a few husbands and lovers with very diverse backgrounds and heritages, made herself a fortune and was mother to four children. She also had a unique but amicable relationship with Queen Elizabeth I after much discussion between them concerning their lives and whatever else came to their minds.

This is an exciting, swashbuckling tale about a little known historical Irish persona in the 16th century. Her life is the stuff legends are made of and I only wish there were as many historical fictions novel about Grace O'Malley as there are about Elizabeth I, Queen of England. There are two historical fiction novels by Morgan Llywelyn concerning Grace O'Malley, I've read both and they are very excellent reads as well as this one.

The Lady of the Sea: The Third of the Tristan and Isolde Novels
The Lady of the Sea: The Third of the Tristan and Isolde Novels
by Rosalind Miles
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.83
34 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars THE LADY OF THE SEA Is A Very Worthy Read!,, Feb. 11 2007
This is the final book of a trilogy regarding another timeless favorite story, Tristan & Isolde. This story is also from the Arthurian legends and is very similar to the love triangle of Arthur, Lancelot & Guinevere.

The best by far of the three novels brings to a conclusion Tristan and Isolde's story. They endure and triumph over many seemingly insurmountable obstacles, not the least of which is King Mark. However, they provide many of their own problems by, at times, doubting each others love and fidelity.

Isolde decides that she can no longer remain married to King Mark of Cornwall. He has carried on with his mistress for years and was only a marriage of convenience from the start. It was never consummated and was only initiated to prevent King Mark from invading her kingdom, the Western Isle, Ireland.

Tristan and Isolde must weather many separations, extreme conditions and Mark's relentless pursuit of them both to finally and permanently come together.

The book was very suspenseful, engaging and extremely hard to put down. I highly recommend it and believe it can also be read as a stand-alone novel.

The Great Tree of Avalon: The Eternal Flame
The Great Tree of Avalon: The Eternal Flame
by T. A. Barron
Edition: Hardcover
39 used & new from CDN$ 1.51

5.0 out of 5 stars THE ETERNAL FLAME (THE GREAT TREE OF AVALON, BOOK 3), Feb. 11 2007
This is the last in a trilogy about the saving of Avalon by three of its long time defenders. Tamwyn, grandson of Merlin, must travel by a secret route to the very stars to save the true source of magic. Scree, the eagleman must lead his people to fight in the war of to save Avalon. Lastly, Elli, a brave young priestess must conquer an evil sorcerer in a realm of complete darkness, Shadowroot. Together they must overcome all the odds in order to save Avalon, especially at the final battle in Mudroot.

The story keeps you turning page after page with anticipation to discover just what will happen next to each character. Their adventures are spellbinding, gripping, and exciting and filled with vibrant descriptions of the characters, scenery and emotions. To truly appreciate the third book in this trilogy reading the first two, CHILD OF THE DARK PROPHECY (The Great Tree of Avalon, Book 1) SHADOWS ON THE STARS (The Great Tree of Avalon, Book 2) will provide a greater insight overall. Also reading T. A. Barron's MERLIN SERIES will enrich your total reading experience.

After this novel, I sincerely hope that T. A. Barron expands and writes an Arthurian series about Merlin and the rest of the earthbound characters from these novels. I'm sure this author could lend some new twists and turns to an old tradtional favorite!

Night Birds' Reign: Book One in the Dreamer's Cycle Series
Night Birds' Reign: Book One in the Dreamer's Cycle Series
by Holly Taylor
Edition: Paperback
14 used & new from CDN$ 13.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NIGHT BIRD'S REIGN Is A Complex, Exciting "Historical" Fantasy Read!, Jan. 25 2007
This is primarily the story of Gwydion the Dreamer of Kymru. Different talents had specific titles and duties. There was once a High King but because of betrayal and treachery there hasn't been one for centuries. Arthur is born to Gwydion's brother, King Uthyr of Gwynedd and his Queen, Ygraine. He must first find a way to keep Arthur safe until he reaches manhood for then he will become the next High King of Kymru. Kymru is divided up into five subkingdoms: Gwynedd, Ederynion, Gwytheryn, Prydyn and Rheged each with their own kings and queens.

Once Gwydion has made sure Arthur is being raised in safety he must locate Caladfwlch, the lost sword of the last, murdered High King of Kymru. Arthur cannot reign Kymru without it. However, in his quest to locate this exalted weapon he must have help from captains of these various kingdoms' war bands. Of utmost importance he must find and enlist the help of Rhiannon, a clairvoyant, also known as one of the Dewin who has been missing for several years.

The book moved along at a rapid pace with intrigue and personalities that clash and mesh throughout the plot. The cast of characters is as immense as are their titles. There are multiple lists including a cast of Characters in their detailing their specific location and area of expertise as well as all of the ruling classes, Historical Figures, The Shining Ones and last but certainly not least the well-needed Glossary giving definitions of the Kymru words for the sixth day of the week to what November is called.

It's a richly complex and detailed first novel which only serves to enrich the story. I'm eagerly awaiting the second in this trilogy titled: CRIMSON FIRE, release date: June 2007 and the third is titled: CRY OF SORROW, release date: June 2008.

Scarlet Lion
Scarlet Lion
by Chadwick
Edition: Hardcover
7 used & new from CDN$ 137.40

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE SCARLET LION Brings William Marshal Vividly To Life!, 9 Jan 2007, Jan. 18 2007
This review is from: Scarlet Lion (Hardcover)
I really wish I could give this novel more than 5 stars but if I did they would be as infinite as the stars in the sky! This novel is the sequel to THE GREATEST KNIGHT: THE STORY OF WILLIAM MARSHAL but is also an excellent stand-alone novel. However, I'd recommend reading it first to truly appreciate all the young man's life and accomplishments before his married life brings about more.

In this novel William and his wife Isabelle de Clare, Countess of Leinster and Striguil, have no more stability as Richard, The Lionheart, King of England suddenly dies of a battle wound. His younger brother John Lackland has been named his heir and their world and everyone in it that is connected to the royal family has their lives turned upside down. John is a vindictive and cruel king, especially to those who are most loyal to him. He strips William of lands but not before he has taken two of his sons hostage for his good behavior which William has always displayed time and time again.

King John trusts no one and creates havoc in his own kingdom. The barons are set to rebel against him thus bringing about the Magna Carta. Before any of this comes to pass the unthinkable happens threatening to throw the kingdom into chaos yet again. William and Isabelle are unshakable through all of this yet William is finally succumbing to old age.

I could barely make it through the last chapter of the book, 46. I literally had tears streaming down my face and had to remove my glasses more than once to clear my vision to continue. I truly believe this is Elizabeth Chadwick's best novel yet! This author never disappoints but this time she went above and beyond the call of duty! Thank you Susan for an incredible read, all other pale in comparison to your genius! Read this book, you'll be under her spell and will be compelled to read the rest of her books!

P.S. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE MAPS! I LOVED BEING ABLE TO LOCATE ALL OF THE PLACES MENTIONED IN THE STORY. Thank you too for the genealogy charts of the Kings of England and William Marshal's line. These additions made the story that much more enjoyable!

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