Original Language: English
Publication Date: July 2009
Page Count: 288
Strong, ruthless, brave and honorable, Giles Fitzhenry is a born warrior who has never been able to shake off the shame of his illegitimate birth. To save her people and lands, the lady Fayth is forced to marry this powerful Breton knight. She yearns to be rid of her unwelcome husband, although a deep desire stirs each time she looks into his piercing gaze. Now Giles has conquered all, but the ultimate battle will be for his new lady's love—and her utter surrender!
The first of Terri Brisbin's Knights of Brittany trilogy The Conqueror's Lady is a remarkable historical adventure full of romance and danger. Set during the Normandy conquest of England in 1066, The Conqueror's Lady and the rest of the trilogy follow the dangers faced by three of William's Knights. Giles Fitzhenry was illegitimately born to a Norman Lord and is given dangerous land to conquer in William's name. In order to give legitimacy to his new title and lands, Giles must wed the young daughter of the last Lord. Unfortunately for Giles the lady Fayth is determined to make him work for his new estate and for her love.
Like any historical fiction, The Conqueror's Lady must first prove its author has done her research. To pick up a story of William the Conqueror and find flaws and problems in a straight story can put the reader off. Fortunately for Brisbin it is immediately obvious that she is sharing her knowledge through her writing. Details of the battle and the rearrangement of life after the ivasion show Brisbin is thinking about more than just her immediate story.
While the romance is sweet, thrilling and somewhat cheek-warming, it is Brisbin's attention to detail while delivering background that gives the novel its feet. It isn't just a sexy romance plonked into a more romantic and thrilling time, Brisbin writes as though it is fact; just another romance playing out against the background of the invasion. By giving the story a real background Brisbin breathes life into her novel and creates a fascinating mixture of romance and adventure.
While at times I found the romance somewhat corny and fast paced, it was just as passionate and thrilling as I assume Brisbin wanted her readers to find it. The plot kept moving, and though the adventure and background of the invasion were obviously playing second fiddle to the romance, it was written to be a romance. I found the epiphany moment dragged a bit, and the adventure wasnt as thrilling as I would have liked. However, The Conqueror's Lady is unlikely to be picked up by anyone who doesn't want a lust romance so the lacklustre action can be forgiven.
Fayth is just the kind of independent heroine that makes you roll your eyes at her in her damsel-in-distress moments. She repeatedly removes herself from threatening positions but equally causes them by giving the rebels the time of day. Frustrating when the reader is immediately positioned on the Giles train and isn't interested in even glancing Edwards way.
Giles is immediately likable despite his gruff exterior and easy temper. As a love interest he is easily more appealing than Edward who has scoundrel written all over him in permanent marker. Giles is passionate, caring and affectionate, making him the perfect husband for Fayth and swoonworthy for female readers.
Bryce features heavily in The Conqueror's Lady where he acts as a protector and friend to both Giles and Fayth. He provides a steady commentary on Gile's mistakes and repeatedly refers to his own future as leader of an estate. Bryce is the protagonist of the sequel The Mercenary's Bride.
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