Medieval Connections

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His Captive Lady
by Carol Townend
Unique fresh voice in Medieval romance

Half-Saxon, half-Norman, Saewulf Brader longs for something more than his current position. Even if he cannot be knight, at least he might be rewarded with land for his loyalty to his liege lord. Her father dead during the Battle of Hastings, Erica knows she must end the blood feud between her family and another Saxon tribe if the Saxons have any chance of driving away the Normans. She will do anything to stop the blood feud, no matter what the cost to herself. When Wolf enters Guthlac's hall as a spy, Erica's beauty captivates him while the threat from Guthlac's men stirs his heart and memory. He must do everything he can to protect her. Torn between his duty to his liege lord and his desire for Erica, can Wulf keep her safe without compromising his spy mission? Will Erica ever be able to trust him when she discovers he is a spy for the Normans?

HIS CAPTIVE LADY is an awesome Medieval romance! From Carol Townend's past works THE NOVICE BRIDE and AN HONORABLE ROGUE, I already knew I liked her writing style I would love her writing no matter what story she writes, but HIS CAPTIVE LADY is even more incredible than my wildest dreams! Wulf is amazing hero. His divided loyalties create a depth of character seen from inside his heart and values, a heart both loyal to the Saxon culture and his Norman lord and yet a heart that longs for love and a higher good that transcends political loyalties. Wulf cleverly manages to act with honor and deal with the trouble that came his way...and trouble he saw aplenty! Carol Townend creates such an ingenious yet tender hearted man ----brave like a warrior, and a heart more noble than any knight. Erica with her innocence, her daring, her values steals the heart from the first pages. Erica is a bit of a trailblazer in her desire for peace and yet Carol Townend also allows the reader to see her fears and her devotion to those who serve her.

Guthlac, Hrothgar and all the Saxons made my Medieval heart go aflutter. HIS CAPTIVE LADY give such an accurate picture of that culture both after the Battle of Hastings and in the legends and history in the hearts of the Saxons. Carol Townend paints such an awesome image of the warrior arm rings in this one scene that she made me see my medieval studies in a new way, with a new vision ---a human vision --- but it wasn't just that one scene. Carol Townend picks up on that scene and develops it into a beautiful theme interwoven throughout the story. In another beautiful, amazing scene (so awesome that I had to read it aloud to friends telling them how it just made me gasp from its beauty), the author takes and changes the Beowulf story in the life of a character who lived later. Once more, this scene is not dropped but changed and developed throughout the story. Everything in this book just fits so well together as echoes of past scenes reverberate in new contexts, adding layers of richness to this romance. I adored the picture Carol Townend paints of the changes in the Saxon culture after the Normans have invaded. Beatiful imagery!

HIS CAPTIVE LADY---how does a person even describe a book that just hits a reader on every chord except to say that for me, this book was 7th heaven. How much do love this book? Rating: 5++! It's more than a rating though. I actually bought multiple copies of this book for me because I want to re-read this book so much that I will wear it out more than once. HIS CAPTIVE LADY is not just a 2008 top ten read but a top all time read for me! HIS CAPTIVE LADY with its fine rendition of Medieval Saxon culture and literature is a romance thatwill appeal to both historical romance lovers and Medievalists alike!

Personal notes

I am so happy to see a medieval historical writer doing this period! Carol Townend has a unique fresh voice. This period and the earlier Anglo-Saxon period is one of my favorite periods and it is just so cool to see what she does with it. Back when I was in grad school, we had an Old English study group that got together to read and translate the Old English Anglo-Saxon poetry together. I love this poetry like none other. I wrote my MA thesis on one of the poems and the dream vision genre. But what makes me so enthusiastic about Carol Townend is not just that she sets her romances in this period but it's what she does with it! Like I, fresh, even to me who lived and breathed this time period and earlier....even to me, Carol Townend brought me new ideas and new understandings. Beautiful romance--the romance between Wulf and Erica---- and so much more too!

Once in school I had to take this this very pedantic course on Advanced French grammar and composition. Every week, we had to write these papers using some grammar structure (result, cause, etc) and a specialized vocabulary. This course did not count since it wasn't literature but I had to have it before teaching so it was in addition to a normal workload. I decided to have some fun for me and the prof. so I wrote these ridiculous stories, taking characters from Beowulf and writing outrageous stories--things that made me giggle because they were so bizarre. Well, that was for amusement and not real writing. My stories were just the rantings of an overworked and very punchy student...and Carol Townend's stories are just beautiful but I thought maybe this little story might show one more level why this book blew me away!

Book Description:
Lady Erica had tried to bring peace to her people, so that they could join forces against the Normans.  Instead she became captive to the Saxon warrior, Saewulf Brader!

Wulf was, in truth, a Norman captain spying on the enemy.   Chaste yet fearless Lady Erica wasn’t part of his plan.  Her beauty was as disarming as it was captivating, but Wulf knew that once she discovered his deception, their fragile bond of trust would be destroyed…

Normans and Saxons, conflict and desire

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Copyright Merrimon Crawford   2007-2008 All Rights Reserved