6 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
marame reviewed The Marriage Prize (Medieval Plantagenet, Bk 3) on
Helpful Score: 2
While I loved the history and all the background info and court intrigues, I hated the book! Just cried my eyes out the last 40 pages.
Rosamond annoyed me to no end. What a whiny, self-centered, smug creature she turned out to be. Did she learn nothing from being a de Montfort ward? I liked Rodger a whole lot better because I admired his loyalty to Edward, his friend and liege.
You see, I'd read the previous books in the trilogy and was captivated by the characters: Falcon and Jasmin (The Falcon and the Flower) and Simon and Eleanor (The Dragon and the Jewel). Beautiful, passionate stories so it made me sick to read how the author vilified Eleanor and Simon in this book.
There's are 2 spin-off books, A Year and A Day and Infamous that take place in England and Scotland and features a very yummy Robert the Bruce. I highly recommend them. Yes, there's plenty of history, but the characters take center stage, especially Linx and Jory de Warenne!
Virginia Henley brings 13th century England and King Henry III's court to life, with all its turmoil and strife, in this historical novel about Rosamond Marshall, heiress and ward of Eleanor Plantagenet and Rodger de Leyburn, powerful steward to Prince Edward, the heir to England's throne. Ms. Henley's impeccable research and vivid descriptions bring the reader into this medieval world of conflict, treachery, betrayal, pageantry and true love.
Orphaned at a young age, Rosamond Marshal is the royal ward of Eleanor de Montfort - sister of King Henry III and wife of the renowned warlord Simon de Montfort. Under the worldly countess' wise tutelage, Rosamond learns not only the skills of a chatelaine, but also how to wield her feminine power by dressing exquisitely, conversing wittily, and charming men relentlessly. As the beautiful heiress approaches young womanhood, she is fearful of leaving the security of the de Montfort household and fulfilling her betrothal to the dark, imposing bachelor knight Rodger de Leyburn.
Just as Rodger de Leyburn devilishly outmaneuvers Rosamond's various strategic attempts to break their betrothal, so do her numerous entreaties to Prince Edward to forestall her marriage fall on deaf ears. For Rosamond Marshal is truly a marriage prize and the prince is determined to reward Rodger, his dearest friend, with a wealthy, noble wife. Wary of love, Rosamond is unsettled by Rodger's powerful presence, and she is convinced that Rodger's insistent pursuit of her is for her wealth alone.
Slowly and patiently Rodger woos Rosamond, convincing her that his love for her extends beyond her estates and her wealth. No sooner does Rosamond become Rodger's wife and begins to entrust her heart to him, than she finds herself and her husband on opposite sides of a bloody civil war. For Rodger is fighting alongside Prince Edward and the king to quell the barons' rebellion, led by none other than Rosamond's beloved guardian, Simon de Montfort. So, as civil war erupts around them, and Rodger is called to battle, Rosamond faces the ultimate test of loyalty and choices - between the man who stormed her reluctant heart, and the family who raised her as their own...
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I haven't read any of Virginia Henley's books before, although I may have several of her books hidden away on my bookshelf. This book is actually the third in a trilogy - the first two being The Falcon and the Flower written in 1989; and The Dragon and the Jewel written in 1991.
I usually love reading historical romances; primarily medieval and regency romances. And while I don't consider myself a stickler for historical accuracy, I do appreciate reading well-researched historical romances. I give The Marriage Prize by Virginia Henley an A+! and will certainly be looking for more books by this author to read in the future.