Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On Falcon's Wings by Lisa Yarde

In 11th century England, Avicia is a daring young Flemish woman under the guardianship of her strict uncle. She is in love with Edric of Newington, the son of a minor Saxon thane, and to impress him, she shows him how well she can fly a falcon. Unfortunately, the falcon belongs to her mistress, the daughter of a Saxon count, and while in flight, the majestic bird tragically dies. Edric is forced to watch helplessly as Audra is brutally whipped for her indiscretion. Almost immediately, their families force Audra and Edric apart - Edric is made to return to England to marry Cynwise of Hastingleigh and Audra is married off to Philippe de Montfort, a Norman knight.

No romance is complete without a loathsome villain, and in this tale, Odo, Bishop de Bayeux is cast in this most dastardly role. Odo, the brother of a Norman duke, is strongly attracted to Avicia, but Avicia, repulsed by his sinister abhorrent nature, spurns him. Her rejection embitters him and unleashes a powerful urge for vengeance against her. He lurks in the background, waiting for any excuse to discredit her.

Audra focuses on making a life with her new husband, while Edric makes the most of his marriage to Cynwise. Yet, destiny conspires to intervene and throughout the story, their paths cross – a constant reminder of their great love for each other.

Rich with realistic characters, this well-researched medieval romance abounds with emotion. A multi-faceted story, it swept me into the unrest that led to the Norman Conquest between England and France, and into the lives of an unforgettable heroine and honorable, compelling hero.

Lisa Yarde has a gracious, lyrical style of writing that makes reading this novel a pleasurable, carefree experience. Her comprehensive research into medieval falcony enriched the story, bringing good understanding to this ancient sport. I found the tale engrossing and full of emotion. The turbulence and historical details of the era were accurately depicted, clear evidence that the author has a strong understanding of the period. Who doesn't love a story about love, betrayal, and deceit set against the backdrop of impending war? Lisa Yarde is a new upcoming author who has made her grand entrance with this passionate tale of honor, duty, and the reward of true love.

1 comment:

Anne Gilbert said...

This sounds like an absolutely fascinating story, and I'd like to enter this contest, becaus I really like to read about strong medieval women, fictional or non fictional. I love readng about medieval times anyway, and I know Ms. Yarde is an excellent writer. I've read some of her other material.