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A Man of Value: The Montbryce Legacy~Book Two (Volume 2) Paperback – February 3, 2012
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From the Author
If only my heroes and heroines had revealed their stories to me in chronological order, it would have made life so much easier for you! If you prefer to read sagas in chronological order, here's a handy list.
1066--If Love Dares Enough
1087--A Man of Value
1097--Dark Irish Knight
1100--Passion in the Blood
1106--Dark and Bright
1107--The Winds of the Heavens
1107--Dance of Love
1120--Sweet Taste of Love
1124--Wild Viking Princess
About the Author
Born in England, Anna Markland is a Canadian author with a keen interest in genealogy.
She writes medieval romance about family honour, ancestry and roots. Her novels are intimate love stories full of passion and adventure.
Following an enjoyable career in teaching, Anna transformed her love of writing and history into engaging works of fiction. Prior to becoming a fiction author, she published numerous family histories.
One of the things she enjoys most about writing historical romance is the in-depth research required to provide the reader with an authentic medieval experience.
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I am not going to review the story-I merely wanted to express my awe and admiration for this book. Of course it is one of a series and that enhances my delight with the book and the way I would rate it. Seriously tho, this story and the way Markland has written it deserves the highest award possible in literary circles, it is just that good! Anna Markland-you rock!
With William the Conqueror dead, Ram Montbryce can finally relax and oversee his holdings as the Earl of Ellsmere. Or can he? Unfortunately his bastard son Caedemon is stirring up enough trouble to rile the new king. Shamed to learn of his Norman parentage he runs off to join the Crusades leaving behind not only his new Montbryce family but his pregnant wife as well. Ram leaves his comfortable castle, ignores his arthritic knees and chases after his bastard son on his doomed quest.
There is a part in this book where the author really shows her grasp of humanity when Caedemon, stuck in Turkey on his way to the Holy Land, begins writing a journal which he hopes will survive him so his abandoned wife might know him better. After the bloody battles, the treachery, and the hardships he writes this simple line. "I'm beginning to like the taste of olives." With that simple line he becomes human again. A young man far from home with many regrets and few options.
"A Man of Value" is another winner for me and I can't wait to continue with the series.
A Man of Value is a historical romance by Anna Markland, and the second book in the Montbryce Legacy. I normally will not read the second book in a series without reading the first. Since it was a freebie, I made an exception. For the most part, it stood alone, but where it didn't, the obvious contrivances to visit previous characters were cringe-worthy.
A Man of Value started well. The dialogue had a mildly historical voice that expressed a sense of antiquity without being cumbersome. Agneta and Caedmon were charming enough, and had a good conflict in the way of lasting love.
The biggest problem with the book is that Markland is in love with history. There's nothing wrong with this, per se, but in a work of historical fiction, history must support the story, not the other way 'round. At times it felt as if I were reading a text book rather than a romance.
The second biggest problem are the back-bends the author does to revisit the first book. At one point, we suddenly find out the heroine is afraid of water. No explanation. A few paragraphs later, she's begging to dip her toes in the ocean. So, apparently the ocean isn't water. I shook my head and shrugged, knowing it was an awkward setup for something. Sure enough, she faces her fears to try to rescue the hero. But does she? No, he is actually rescued by strangers who just happen to be riding by. Strangers who also happen to be from the first book. Agneta's fear of water is still never explained, and hardly mentioned after it served its purpose. The whole episode left me blinking.
There are entire chapters devoted to the point-of-view of the couple from book 1, and for the most part, they have absolutely no place in this book. If you must visit previous characters, keep your POV intact doing it.
There is little character development. We never get to know Agneta and Caedmon. What little introspection exists is done in these odd outbursts of self talk. The author finds a vehicle for it late in the book with the hero's journal, but it's still very jarring. When an emotional change is needed, it just happens. Caedmon spends nearly all the book with a fierce hatred of the Normans, then flips suddenly with little thought.
I struggled to finish this book, but I will still recommend it for those who love lots of history with their romance. The history is interesting, even if it's worked in far too often.
-- Reviewed by Indie Book Reviewer