You know that moment when you start reading a book and you feel that the characters are going to be with you for a long time? Yes, that. So I must introduce you to Edmund and Beatrice because you must read their story!
England, 1066 – Edmund of Lindsay is a Saxon and Beatrice Giffard, a Norman – a potentially explosive combination when William the Conqueror becomes William I of England. Edmund is the illegitimate half-brother of the Thegn (Lord), and Beatrice is travelling to England with her cousin, a rich spoiled Lady.
Once Beatrice arrives with her cousin the Lady Anne from Normandy (who is to marry Edmund’s half brother) escorted by the villain of the piece Phillip de Brionne, all is about to go to hell in a handbasket. I’m not doing Phillip a disservice either; he is a nasty piece of work and is only really interested in taking the land belonging to the Lindsay family. He kills Anne’s fiancé to get it. Mind you, he wouldn’t mind Keeping Anne on, and frankly neither would she. Anne does have a few good points though, and does make you smile.
What I love about this book is the breathtaking sweetness that it has woven into it, and the youth and inexperience of the hero and heroine is tested in these harsh times. Beatrice responds to Edmund even at their first meeting, before the slaughter. Her innate kindness allows her to care for Edmund when is badly injured – despite him being considered an enemy, and despite their not even being able to communicate properly until they learn they can both speak Latin. Edmund understands that Beatrice is a girl that he can cherish, even if she does not.
Have I not sold this to you yet? Pfft. It is fantastically researched; you learn all kind of facts and even languages. I love the secondary characters in this novel too…oh, and the cover. But wait, there is one more thing to know – a moment that remains in my memory – Edmund and Beatrice standing in the snow from the title, not knowing what the future will bring for them, perhaps no future at all. Except for the message behind a sapphire ring (no I am not sniffling right now).
Well I’m off to read it again, and I hope you’ll be there with me cheering them on. Go on, you know you want to.
I wrote this blog for a competition, and despite them not letting us know I assume it didn’t place in it. However, I always intended to use it – so here it is! I’m going to back review some of my favourite books in the future and next up will be a post on the author Laurie McBain. Have you read her books – if not, why not?!
You can check my other blog posts for previous entries on Mary Stewart and Madeleine Brent.