1357 – Ancelin Montfort returns to England as his father’s heir, following the death of his older brother at the Battle of Poitiers. Everything he does from now on is to prepare him to be the Earl of Somerton, even marrying the woman his father has chosen for him.
Emma has loved Ancelin through the months of his absence, but the man who has returned from war is not the man who left. As the day of their wedding draws near, she wonders if she ever knew him at all. Then he accuses her of betraying her with another man. Can she convince him of her innocence? Does she want to?
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
There are four books in this series and this is the first. The books follow the fortunes of four brothers after the Battle of Poitiers in 1356. This is Ancelin Montfort’s story as he returns home in 1357.
When the brothers went into battle there had been five of them, John, Ancelin, Stephen, Aymer and Mark but John was killed, leaving Ancelin to return home as the Heir to the Earl of Somerton. The story is not centred round the battle but his change in status and the two primary women in his life on his return. Emma is betrothed to him and Alice is his widowed sister-in-law.
Now what I certainly got the feel of straight away in this story was that there was more than a little friction between the brothers before the battle, which did play on my mind and make me wonder if the story will return me to find out more in the books that follow
Ancelin is more than a little confused as to what he wants, having his cake and eating it comes to mind. Emma is a gentle soul who loves him and has been learning what is expected of her and her future husband in the roles that they will have to take over one day. Then there is Alice, who has been part of the family for a number of years and concerned about her future now her husband is dead. Who will take care of her? Alice is a woman born before her time, forceful and seductive.
Well this is a pretty gripping and intense story captured in a relatively quick read. I really took to Emma and her family. Women really did get a tough deal all those years ago. Such double standards for the men. It was as if women were of two species, those that did and those that didn’t. Both were highly sort out at different times. I really enjoyed how the author told the story, although set in the fourteenth century I didn’t feel out of my depth. There was a brilliant mystery set into it which was dealt with so differently than today with all our modern technology. We just take everything so for grated these days. April Munday captured the helplessness of everyone so brilliantly.
As you can probably guess from my recent reviews I am not normally a history reader but getting really into to these books. So my reviews may not be quite the typical historical reviews but are my true thoughts as I see the stories. Our past is quite shocking!
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
April Munday has been telling stories for almost half a century. It started as a way of keeping her younger sister entertained and out of trouble while they were on holiday.
In her early teens she started writing stories down. Many years later she finally finished one and then another.
Her stories are set either in the fourteenth century or the early nineteenth century. Her latest series, The Soldiers of Fortune, is about four brothers whose lives are changed by the Battle of Poitiers
BOOKS IN THE SERIES