During the turbulent period, now known as the Wars of the Roses, Marjorie of Warwick finds herself caught between love and loyalty, wed to a man who would thwart her duty to her former love, King Edward of England. Danger stalks them as they travel through France on a dangerous mission, caught in the tangled politics of ambition and revenge.
Ms. Martyn's debut novel is an exciting, action filled historical romance. The story is well plotted, her lead characters, Marjorie of Warwick and Sir Richard Huddlestone appealing and intriguing and the historical background convincingly drawn. There is little doubt that the author did a great deal of research, and readers will enjoy the depth of historical detail and period politics alongside the developing romance between Marjorie and Richard.
Nearly all the characters in this novel really lived, including the hero and heroine. Ms. Martyn does a good job of portraying these historical figures as flesh and blood people. Fans of the era will particularly enjoy the scene where Warwick meets Margaret of Anjou to ask for her forgiveness and beg her help with his invasion plans.
My one quibble with this book is a rather long torture scene towards the end. It wasn't entirely necessary and could have been considerably shorter.
All in all, however, an impressive debut. I look forward to reading Ms. Martyn's next book, The Knight and the Rose, set in the early fourteenth century.
This review first appeared in the May 2000 issue of The Historical Novels Review.
© Teresa Eckford, 2000