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The Conqueror (Dell Historical Romance) Mass Market Paperback – September 2, 1996

93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Jealousy, lust, violence and political intrigue make for surprisingly uninspired fare in Joyce's romance set in England in 1069. Rolfe of Warenne, one of William the Conqueror's valued soldiers, has been sent to suppress Saxon uprisings in the north and capture Edwin and Morcar, brothers fomenting rebellion in that area. Part of William's payment to Rolfe includes the brothers' former stronghold, Aelfgar, as a home, and their sister, Lady Alice, for a wife. Although duty compels Rolfe to marry Alice, he is captivated by a younger, illegitimatep. 51 sister, Ceidre, a bewitching, fiery woman loyal to the Saxon cause. Consumed with jealousy, Alice searches for the means to destroy her sister even as Ceidre, at the request of her rebel brothers, commences a dangerous game: luring Rolfe to her bed to gain his confidence and learn details of local Norman strategy. Although Joyce ( The Darkest Heart ) uses a few historical facts and characters as a starting point, she displays minimal knowledge of daily life in 11th-century Britain and a decided preference for cloying melodrama over political maneuvers.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.


The New York Times Bestselling Author of Beyond Scandal

"The power of The Conqueror is awesome...potently sensual, powerful in its emotional intensity...This is what Brenda Joyce fans expect! Leave it to...Brenda Joyce to handle the intricate plot, boiling sensuality, complex history and strong characters with such panache." --Romantic Times

"Pathfinder Tales: Lord of Runes"
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Product Details

  • Series: Dell Historical Romance
  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (September 2, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044020609X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440206095
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brenda Joyce is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fourty-nine novels and five novellas. There are over fourteen million copies of her novels in print and she is published in over a dozen foreign countries. A native New Yorker, she now lives in southern Arizona with her son, dogs and numerous Arabian and Half-Arabian reining horses. Brenda divides her time between her twin passions' writing powerful love stories and her quest to become a nationally ranked Top Ten equestrian. For more information about Brenda and her upcoming novels, please visit her websites:, and

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Leslie on January 16, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book for the first time years ago and it quickly took up residence on my "Keeper" shelf. This is the story of Ceidre and Rolfe during the time of William the Conqueror. So right off the bat, you are thrown into the savage and barbaric time which Ms. Joyce has a gift for recreating beautifully and so believably! With that in mind, there are a few questionable scenes that - by today's standards - some might find offensive, perhaps even appalling. But that's just it -- it does NOT take place in this time. The women of this era are treated not as equals, but as property; and marriages are arranged in order to gain the husband coveted land and power. That was just the way it was back then -- it's historical fact -- and this book captures the essence of the period magnificently.
Ceidre is "cursed" with what they call the "evil eye" and she is feared by many because of it. But Rolfe isn't afraid of her. No, he is more than a little attracted to her from their first meet.
King William has granted Rolfe "Aelfgar" - which is home to Ceidre's two brothers. The brothers have been branded as traitors and are hiding from the King's men who are intent on capturing them for treason. Rolfe's orders are to capture the missing brother and bring them back to William. He is also ordered to gain control of Aelfgar by marrying the traitorous brothers' sister. He soon finds out that Ceidre is illigetimate and that her hateful sister is the rightful heir to the castle. Rolfe lusts for Ceidre, but realizes he must marry the legitimate sister in order to gain rights to the land.
Both the hero and heroine in this book are fantastic. You feel for each of them as they battle their feelings, their duties, and their loyalties.
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36 of 44 people found the following review helpful By V on October 19, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Conqueror was the first book I have read by Brenda Joyce. It is the type of romance often written about fifteen years ago that we do not see much today. This type of romance involves a very strong yet ruthless hero who treats the heroine very badly from time to time yet finds himself obsessed with her. The hero of The Conqueror reminds me of other ruthless, yet endearing heroes in two other books I have read from this same time period that stand among my favorites. Rolfe, the hero of The Conqueror is similar to Garrick from Johanna Lindsey's Fires of Winter or Ranulf from Nicole Jordan's The Warrior. I have written reviews on both of those books should you want a comparison. Please note - this is not a book for the weak at heart. This is strong subject matter that at times is volatile and at other times highly sensual.
Ceidre is the bastard daughter of a deceased Saxon lord and half sister to Lady Alice, the legitimate heir of their home, Aelfgar. Now that the dead Saxon lord's sons have double crossed William the Conqueror twice, the new king has awarded their home to one of his most loyal knights, Rolfe de Warenne. William has directed Rolfe to marry Lady Alice, thereby cementing his new ownership of this large holding. Rolfe first encounters Ceidre in the opening pages of the book when his knights are burning a village for hiding Saxon rebels. He mistakes her for a peasant and decides he will have a taste of her. When his men identify her as Rolfe's future bride, Rolfe realizes he must behave but is extremely pleased with his future bride. He had not expected to be drawn so fiercely to someone who would one day be his bride. Ceidre takes advantage of Rolfe's misunderstanding of her identity and travels back to Aelfgar with him - hoping to find an opportunity to escape.
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38 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Jane VINE VOICE on July 24, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a melodrama of people hurting other people through stupidity, jealousy, cruelty, selfishness and insensitivity. This was not entertaining. I never smiled or had a pleasant feeling. My emotional reaction was "yuck." I wanted it to be over. A few of the characters' frustrating, unpleasant and unsympathetic actions are in Spoilers below.

Ceidre and Alice are half-sisters. Rolfe meets Ceidre and falls in lust with her immediately. He dislikes Alice but marries her for property reasons. Alice hates Ceidre out of jealousy and other reasons. Alice uses every chance she can to hurt Ceidre and three times nearly kills Ceidre. Alice creates false evidence that Ceidre is a spy so she could put Ceidre in a dungeon. Later, Ceidre stupidly tells Alice that Ceidre is going to have sex with Rolfe in order to spy for her brothers. Alice is happy because she plans to tell Rolfe that Ceidre admits to using sex with him for the purpose of spying. Why would Ceidre ever tell this to her enemy Alice?

Rolfe does a number of things that are not likeable, including the following. He arranges for his best friend (and one of his warriors) Guy to marry Ceidre, but Rolfe spends the wedding night with her, raping her. Later he orders her to come to his bedroom. He insults her and tells her that he prefers Alice for the night. Ceidre starts encouraging sex with Rolfe. Although they are married to others, Ceidre and Rolfe have sex frequently and fall in love with each other. However, Ceidre continues to act as a spy and warns Rolfe's enemies of his actions. As a result, Rolfe's men are ambushed, many die and Rolfe could have died. Ceidre stupidly claims she thought the enemy would flee from Rolfe's advance instead of ambush him. I couldn't take this merry-go-round of stupidity.

Sexual language: moderate. Number of sex scenes: eighteen. Setting: 1069 England. Copyright: 1990. Genre: historical romance.
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