From Publishers Weekly
Bradshaw's refreshingly candid jaunt into the age of chivalry blends knightly honor and maidenly forbearance with fairy-tale overtones while revealing the uglier side of the feudal system. Strong research and a brisk writing style yield a fascinating primer on this European era, giving a glimpse into the routine activities of nobles and peasants alike. Marie Penthivre de Chalandrey is abducted from her convent by knights of Duke Hoel of Brittany he has his eyes on lands held by her father, who is off fighting in the Crusades. She escapes her captors and flees through dense woods where Tiarn n of Talensac saves her from rape by thieves and wins her heart, but he returns her to the knights and leaves to wed Eline of Comper. Marie later befriends Eline, who, when Tiarn n disappears and is declared dead, tells Marie that he is a monster and she is well rid of him. Eline then claims the estate and weds her true love, Alaine de Fourgres, a handsome but landless knight with no skill at running a manor. Alaine urges his cousin Tiher, a favorite knight of Hoel and suitor of Marie, to organize a hunt for a clever wolf that enters the village and evades all trackers. They corner the wolf but it licks Hoel's boot and is taken as a pet, becoming a court favorite and changing the lives of all those who come into contact with it. Bradshaw (Island of Ghosts) solidly grounds her historical fiction, but still lards it with plenty of fairy-tale excitement. Readers will have no trouble guessing the "secret" of the wolf, but that doesn't detract from the fun.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
British classics scholar and historical novelist Bradshaw (The Sand-Reckoner) here tries her hand at medieval romance. Marie Penthiovre, a young and spirited noblewoman, is kidnapped from a convent in Normandy by enemies of her father. Escaping into the wild forest of Brocaliande, she is rescued by the renowned knight Tiarn n of Talensac. He escorts her to the duke of Brittany, who encourages her to marry one of his knights. Marie's romantic dreams of wedding Tiarn n are dashed when he marries someone else, but when he disappears soon after his wedding, Marie determines to discover the truth and preserve Tiarn n's reputation as an honorable warrior. This tale of trust and loyalty slowly builds to a satisfying climax. Bradshaw displays her usual deft touch with characterization and setting. More mainstream than most of her novels, it is definitely recommended for all public libraries.Laurel Bliss, Yale Arts Lib.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.