Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Fire and Steel – Anita Mills
Lovely Catherine de Brione, daughter of Eleanor and Roger FitzGilbert, is forced to wed Guy of Rivaux, a Norman lord ... but in her heart, Catherine longs for her childhood love, Brian FitzHenry, the illegitimate son of King Henry. Soon after their wedding, Guy of Rivaux abandons her. Upon his return, five years later, Guy expects to find his faithful wife anxiously awaiting him.
This book continues the story of Lady of Fire in the next generation. This time it is the oldest daughter of Lea and Roger who takes center stage. Taken as a political hostage by Robert Curthose as guarantee of his good behavior during Curthose’s war with his brother she is taken to court by Guy of Rivaux very much against her will. Despite being somewhat childish in her initial behavior Catherine rises to the occasion when faced with a difficult situation. Forced to marry Guy she understands that there is no way out and that she should make the best of it. Guy is a wonderful hero, thoughtful and caring, him and Catherine are on the verge of falling in love when the war separates them. Catherine goes back to her family and Guy is imprisoned as are all of Robert Curthose’s allies.
Several years pass and although the marriage wasn’t put aside they never saw each other again. But Catherine longs for a family and her parents decide it’s time for her to be reunited with her husband. They won’t have an easy path to happiness as a few misunderstandings have brought a wedge between them but they are willing to work on it. As in the previous book Mills does a wonderful job with believable characters that stay true to their time and in their beliefs.
We revisit here the bad guy of the previous book, Robert de Belleme (a real person btw ) and he will have an unexpected influence in the action in this book and in the future of the Rivaux family.
A very satisfying read with none of the problems of the first book.