Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Mistress Of Normandy-Susan Wiggs

The Mistress Of Normandy
Susan Wiggs
Mira, Jul 29 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778316367

In 1414 Westminster, King Henry V honors peasant soldier Enguerrand Fitzmarc for saving his life and that of his brother the Duke of Clarence from the religious fanatical Lollard assassins and for war heroics by naming him a knight the Baron of Longwood.  However, he also learns how diabolically clever the monarch is as his estate is in Normandy where his paternal roots will help since he speaks French; additionally his chosen bride Lady Lianna who rules there.

Irate Lianna learns that the King sent an outsider from across the Channel to be lord of her and her land as her husband.  She refuses to bow down to anyone even the monarch’s anointed.  When Lianna and Rand meet in the nearby woods; they are attracted to each other until she learns his identity.  Though she loves Rand, Lianna, feeling betrayed, rejects him.  While he struggles to earn the trust of the fiery female he cherishes, enemies of the English plot to kick the English off the continent starting with killing the pair and other Henry loyalists.

This “revised” version of 1991 The Lily and the Leopard (don’t know how much was refreshed) is a winning medieval romance though the changing relationship between the lead couple is typical of the subgenre.  Still Susan Wiggs (see Tudor Rose Trilogy) provides a satisfying historical starring two resilient resolute personalities clashing over love and leadership until a mutual deadly enemy threatens both of them and the locals they cherish.

Harriet Klausner

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