Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on October 17, 2010
I've read (and reviewed) several medieval romances by Shannon Drake (aka Heather Graham) and loved them all. She writes with passion and great talent that brings alive the time of knights and their ladies and simply sweeps you away. This one is, in my opinion, right up there with Princess of Fire and Knight of Fire, two others I've given 5 stars to (see my other reviews).

First, there is the legend of the Plantagenets: the story of a beautiful woman with blue green eyes and red gold hair, Melusine, whose fire could not burn, and of the knight who takes her as the spoils of war to find he is mesmerized by her beauty and craves her love. He becomes obsessed with her. But when he tries to test her, she disappears into thin air, leaving him with their two children whose heirs are Henry II and Richard the Lion Heart.

So begins the complex story of Sir Bryan Stede, a knight who rose from humble beginnings to become the favored knight of Henry II and then his son, Richard the Lion Heart. Set in the late 12th century, Stede rises in reputation to earn the respect of his king's enemies, like Saladin, who Richard fights for Jerusalem in the the 3rd crusade in the Holy Land. In a case of mistake, Bryan captures Henry's illegitimate daughter, Elise, Duches of Montoui in France believing her to be a thief. She fights him and lies to him. In his anger, he takes her believing she is no innocent and then he becomes obsessed with her. But each is promised to another. At the point when they both hated each other, I couldn't see how Drake could bring them together, but she did and it was masterful.

The story leads to the Holy Land and to an Arabian prince, Jalahar, who fights Bryan. Once he sees Elise, like the legend, he also becomes obsessed with her and will not give her up after he captures her. What a story!! I do recommend you read "the legend" intro twice so as not to forget it as it gives clues to the rest of the book. If you're a Shannon Drake fan, as I am, this is one you'll want to read again.
8 people found this helpful
Report abuse Permalink