Roselynde - Roselynde Chronicles, Bk 1 Author:Roberta Gellis "Roselynde," is Book One of "The Roselynde Chronicles," a series of six extraordinary novels of historic fiction. This epic saga of the heirs of the English land holdings, Roselynde, begins with the story of Alinor Devaux. — Lord Richard, later to be called King Richard, Coer de Leon, is soon to be crowned. The year is 1189 AD and Alinor is sixte... more »en years old. Her grandfather, and sole guardian, died recently, leaving her the wealthy heiress of Roselynde, Mersea, Kingsclere, Iford and many other estates, including a busy port to France, making Alinor a marriage prize many coveted. She had been raised by her grandparents to read, write and use her ample intelligence to manage the estates that would be hers someday. Most woman of this period were not taught to be literate, let alone to manage estates and accounts, vassals and serfs, to maintain discipline and be judge and jury. Since her guardian's death, Alinor performed these responsibilities successfully. She and her vassals had been in training for many years - Alinor to lead and rule, and her people to respect, protect and follow her.
Queen Alinor of Aquitaine, Dowager Queen of England and Richard's mother, visits the Roselynde holdings to determine what is to become of the wealthy heiress. On the one hand the Queen believes that Alinor should be wed and have her husband take responsibility for her wealth. On the other hand, she identifies and sympathizes with her namesake. The elderly Queen had been raised to be freethinking and independent, and as a young woman had given many of the great men of Europe and Byzantium a run for their money. Alinor, who is determined to wed for love or not at all, persuades the monarch to allow her to remain single and to accept, in the name of the Crown, the annual estate income that would normally go to a husband. Sir Simon Lemagne, a knight and warrior who has been the Queen's loyal liegeman for much of his forty-five years, is appointed warden to Alinor and her holdings.
What begins as a friendship between warden and ward, turns into respect and great love. The difference in ages does not matter to Alinor. She finds a soulmate in Simon, and he loves for the first time...not the courtly love and allegiance he feels for the Queen, but with earthy passion and the desire to settle down and raise a family. The new King, however, does not want the match, thinking to wed the young heiress to someone who would more benefit the Crown.
Ms. Gellis sweeps the reader through the pageantry of the Royal Court and the world of knightly love with great accuracy. She details the political treacheries of the time; the rivalries that exist between Richard and his brother John, the intrigues of the despised William Longchamp, Chancellor and Chief Justiciar of England...and favorite of the King, and the ambitions of the King of France who wants to reclaim his land on the continent, now owned by Richard. She transports us along with Richard and his legions to Byzantium and Jerusalem on the Crusades, while England is left in the hands of scoundrels.
Roberta Gellis is superb storyteller of great talent. She weaves a wonderful tapestry of romance, passion and power, and tells a tale of a love that endures separation and hardship, in defiance of a King.« less