Monday, November 10, 2008

Lady of Fire - Anita Mills

Set in 11th century Normandy, this is a passionate novel of romance, chivalry and forbidden love. Beautiful young Lea is pursued by many great noblemen, but she chooses to surrender her love to the one man she is forbidden to have--a man who refuses to give in to his raging desire for her.

I started this book looking for an interesting, meaty medieval. Something like Roberta Gellis or Denise Domning... I wasn't disappointed but I must say I was left with mixed feelings about it.

Eleanor de Nantes loved her bastard half-brother dearly while growing up and when it is decided she must wed a man she fears, it is to him that she turns to to help her escape. Unbeknownst to her Roger FitzGilbert knows he is not of her blood, he is someone else's son, and loves her as the woman he would like to marry. As they escape Eleanor's bridegroom he eventually tells her the truth.

I found it odd to have Roger having all those feelings towards Eleanor while she regarded him as her brother. It was even weirder that she almost gives in to his lovemaking before she knows the truth. And after she knows it, she keeps saying she only loves him like a brother till a talk with his father convinces her to admit to her love. Definitely awkward!

Then, I think, this story suffers from the fact that the villain is a lot more charismatic than the hero. He has great potencial as a tortured soul. and while he may be really bad sometimes he eventually does have an honourable action. It doesn't seem Mill's ever wrote his story which I find a great pity!

Other than that it is a nice story where the main thing is the characters and their actions. The background, the medieval setting, suffers a bit with it and I am unable to decide if it's just this book's story. I think I'll have to keep reading her to find out!

Grade: B-

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