The Raveling (Tamara Leigh) – Review

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~ About the Book ~

Sir Elias De Morville is no ordinary man of the sword, possessing both the heart of a warrior and a troubadour. When he sets out to rescue a boy who may be his son, more than ever he must prove worthy of the Wulfrith dagger that ranks him among the greatest of knights. And more difficult it becomes when not only must he protect the enigmatic woman who aids him, but guard against attraction to one forbidden him—she whose deceit could bring his family to its knees.

Honore of no surname is of the world only insofar as she ventures into it to pluck unwanted children from dark places. When a foundling is stolen from the abbey, her greatest hope of recovering him is a knight to whom she dare not reveal her face nor the identity of the rebel priest whose flight from King Henry they aid. Finding herself cast in the role of Sir Elias’s wife, she struggles against a heart that longs to be his in truth. And prays what seems a necessary deception does not lay ruin to him.

Genre:  Historical Romance (Medieval)
Series:  #8 Age of Faith
Release date:  19 June 2018
Pages:  433
Publisher:  Independent

Amazon US  //  Amazon AU  //  iTunes  //  Goodreads

~ Excerpt ~

After securing the gorget beneath her nose, Honore lifted her skirts and ascended the rise. Upon reaching the crest, she set her shoulders back and increased her stride.
There was no disguising herself as anything other than a woman, but she refused to appear meek. If Finwyn drew too near again, she would do more than slap him. She touched the stick beneath her belt that was half as long but twice as thick as Jeannette’s. In addition to coin, the knave would depart the wood with lumps and bruises. Or so she told herself, Finwyn being the first and last person she had struck.
I shall do so again if I must, she assured herself and set her eyes on the distant tree, a portion of whose above ground roots served as a cradle. As the mist rose thicker there, she would have to draw near to confirm the exchange was possible. On occasion it was not, the cradle empty due to a babe’s death.
“Lord, let the wee ones be hale,” she whispered and sent her gaze around the wood in search of movement whilst straining to catch the sound of fitful babes. Were they in the cradle, Finwyn would be watching.
She glanced over her shoulder and saw Jeannette had placed herself as directed. The young woman did present as a warrior—the moon’s glow at her back outlining her hulking figure and what appeared to be a drawn sword. She would not go unnoticed, and Finwyn would know exactly why Honore had not come alone. Hopefully, once more he would honor the agreement made when he assumed his grandsire’s role of one who disposed of unwanted babes. Following her departure, he would collect his coin.
When she was near enough to see the humped roots near the tree’s base, she silently thanked the Lord. Amid the mist, two bundles lay side by side, unmoving as if both babes slept.
Though careful to pick her way amongst the roots extending a dozen feet from the tree, twice she nearly twisted an ankle, causing the coins to clatter.
Once she stood before the bundles, she raised the pouch to show the one watching she paid the price required to save two innocents, then set it in a patch of moss. Hopefully, it would be the last payment made.
As she straightened, she noticed a rope around the tree. Did Finwyn seek to tell her something? Might this be a threat? Assuring herself the rope was not fashioned into a noose, she nearly laughed at allowing her mind to move in that direction. She did not like the man, but he had never given her cause to fear for her life.
She positioned the sling worn over her short cloak so it draped one shoulder and rested on the opposite hip, then reached for the first bundle.
“There is naught for you there, Woman.”
She stilled. Someone showed himself, and it was not Finwyn who, amid the ring of chain mail, spoke in English more heavily accented than the French of England’s nobility. Heart thinking itself a drum, Honore turned.

~ Review ~

No ordinary warriorMagnifique! Tamara Leigh is a true trobairitz. (That’s a female troubadour, in case you need to Google it like I did 😉 ) Not only is this a wonderful medieval tale in and of itself, but when Sir Elias dons his troubadour persona, it’s like being swept back in time. I can see why troubadours were so popular. Of course, this tale also shows the dark side of the travelling entertainers of this time—the exploitation of those who were born with rare conditions or features.

It is the search for a young boy born with a birthmark bearing a remarkable resemblance to Britain that brings Honore of no surname and Sir Elias, the troubadour knight, into unwilling partnership, and it’s a story of danger and adventure from the outset. Even better, it weaves its tale in and around a very well-known historical figure, and as this particular period of English history is one of my favourites, I may have had a small fan-girl moment when this character was revealed. Or whatever the medieval equivalent of fan-girling is! And of course, I love the little glimpse we get of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, too.

He was done with herBut the real magic in Tamara Leigh’s writing is the prose and the characters. Well, and the plot, so let’s just economise and say EVERYTHING! When I start one of her books, I know I’m going to sink into another world for HOURS—the longer the better! Her prose is so beautifully suited to the period that it transports me effortlessly, and her characters are always captivating and never off-the-shelf. I love the strong arcs she gives their stories, and the romance is always the jewel in the crown—or perhaps the ruby on the hilt of the legendary Wulfrith dagger!

Whatever you do, don’t deprive yourself of this series.

~ Previous Books in the Series ~


~ About the Author ~

tamara-leighTamara Leigh signed a 4-book contract with Bantam Books in 1993, her debut medieval romance was nominated for a RITA award, and successive books with Bantam, HarperCollins, and Dorchester earned awards and places on national bestseller lists. In 2006, the first of Tamara’s inspirational contemporary romances was published, followed by six more with Multnomah and RandomHouse. Perfecting Kate was optioned for a movie, Splitting Harriet won an ACFW Book of the Year award, and Faking Grace was nominated for a RITA award. In 2012, Tamara returned to the historical romance genre with the release of Dreamspell and the bestselling Age of Faith and The Feud series. Among her #1 bestsellers are her general market romances rewritten as clean and inspirational reads, including Lady at Arms, Lady of Eve, and Lady of Conquest. In winter 2018/2019, watch for the new AGE OF CONQUEST series unveiling the origins of the Wulfrith family. Psst!—It all began with a woman. Tamara lives near Nashville with her husband, a German Shepherd who has never met a squeaky toy she can’t destroy, and a feisty Morkie who keeps her company during long writing stints.

Connect with Tamara:  Website  //  Facebook  //  Twitter  // Instagram  // Pinterest

About Fiction Aficionado

Homeschooling mum, word lover, reader extraordinaire, and follower of Christ
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Raveling (Tamara Leigh) – Review

  1. Yowsa! Thank you for an amazing, beautifully-worded review of The Raveling, Katie! My week could not have had a better start. Very very blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Best of 2018: The Emoji Files, Part IV – Take Me Away . . . | Fiction Aficionado

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