Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My Lady's Treasure by Catherine Kean

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During the winter of 1192 in England, Lady Faye Rivellaux and her friend, Elayne Lorvais, married to Lord Torr Lorvais, and their eighteen month old daughter Angeline, often enjoyed picnics by the river. On an idyllic day, little Angeline discovers a valuable chalice buried beneath some mud and rocks. Recognizing its immense value, aye and Elayne keep the discovery a secret.

Elayne falls ill and on her deathbed, she extracts a promise from Faye to protect and care for little Angeline as if the child were her own. Faye takes this promise to heart and becomes a loving, substitute mother to the small child.

Then one day, Angeline is mysteriously kidnapped. Faye receives a demand for a large ransom of silver and is told of a location to make the exchange. An impoverished widow who survives on the charity of Lord Lorvais, Faye does not have the silver to pay the ransom, but she is in possession of the golden chalice and will gladly relinquish it to save Angeline. Dedicated to fulfilling her promise to her friend, Faye sets out to meet an unknown man at an arranged destination.

Sir Brant Meslarches’ past is inextricably tied to that of Lord Torr Lorvais, and he harbours a deep dislike for the man. Because of a dying request by Brant’s brother, Royce, Brant is compelled to obey Lorvais’ demands and recognize him as overlord. But it is Lorvais who orchestrated the kidnapping of his own daughter in order to win the affections of fair Faye. Lorvais knows Faye does not have the silver to pay for the ransom, so he orders Brant to only scare her. When Faye offers Brant the golden chalice, he is shocked. How did she acquire it? Rant believes it is part of King Arthur’s lost treasure that his brother Royce spent his life searching for.

This wonderfully rich medieval tale encompasses a little mystery, an abundance of love, an insidious sprinkling of evil, and enough adventure to keep the reader reading throughout the gripping climax to the very end.

Catherine Kean writes a rich medieval prose that draws you into this masterfully weaved tale. The novel’s flowing prose allows the reader to immerse themselves completely in the story. The plot is uncomplicated with not too many characters. It is an enjoyable read with a gripping climax that held my attention long into the night until I reached the very satisfying ending.

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