Fresh from his defeat of King Harold at the Battle of Hastings, William of Normandy has returned home in triumph, accompanied by the English nobles he cannot trust to leave behind. For Waltheof of Huntington, however, rebellion is not at the forefront of his thoughts. From the moment he catches sight of Judith, daughter of the King’s formidable sister, he knows he has found his future wife.
When Waltheof saves Judith’s life, it is clear that the attraction is mutual. But marriage has little to do with love in medieval Europe. When William refuses to let the couple wed, Waltheof joins forces with his fellow rebels in an uprising against the King. William brutally crushes the rebellion, but realizes that Waltheof cannot be ignored. Marrying him to his niece, he decides, is the perfect way to keep him in check.
But is the match between the Saxon earl and Norman lady made in heaven or hell? As their children grow, Waltheof and Judith must choose between their feelings for each other and older loyalties. At the same time, the reputation of Waltheof’s Norman acquaintance Simon de Senlis continues to flourish. The son of William’s chamberlain, he shares a special bond with Waltheof, who rescued him from being trampled by a horse when he was a squire. Now Simon enjoys the confidence of both the King and the rebel earl. And when tension between the two ignites once more, it is Simon who is set to reap the reward.
I have read almost all of her books, and I do like how she take characters that makes you want to read more.
In this one we have Judith, she is the niece of William the Conqueror, and she married a Dane/Englisman, Earl Waltheof. We get to see those big events, and we are also on the side, which I liked. You do not have to be in the middle of things to get the picture.
Judith, oh she was nice and turned into a bit of a shrew. Waltheof was nice, but did not really see the big picture.
But yes I thought the book would be about them, nope after half the book we get the POV of their daughter Mathilda and her marriage to Simon de Senlis. And it ended before the good part! Well the good part for me, I wanted to know about her second marriage to King David of Scotland. She was just so old, I get that they wanted a connection, still so old, could have been too old for kids (but was not), and I would have wanted to see the take on that.
Interesting, but still not one of her best. She has many books after all. But worth the read.
Paperback, 512 pages
Published January 31st 2007 by Sphere (first published January 17th 2002)