When the Normans invade and sweep across Saxon England in 1066, lovely Aislinn of Darkenwald watches her father murdered outside her home. Wulfgar, the Iron Wolf of Normandy, arrives to rule Darkenwald, and one look at Aislinn leads him to claim her as his own. She hates the Norman conquering forces, but Wulfgar awakens a consuming passion in her that she can't deny. As she struggles with her growing love for Wulfgar, she does what she can to aid her conquered people and her bereaved mother. But a jealous lord conspires with Wulfgar's spoiled half-sister and Aislinn's very life is threatened before Wulfgar can admit that the woman he conquered has in truth, conquered his heart. This beloved historical romance deserves a special place on the shelves of millions of romance readers and shouldn't be missed.
This is a classic medieval love story . Some parts may be offensive to some, as the hero "forces" heroine at first and "claims" her as his own. More true to the times than some medievals are, I believe.
I thought it was very good.
Back in the 70s I read my Kathleen Woodiwiss books over and over again. I started with the Flame and the Flower, and then Shanna, and then I found Wolf and the Dove.
Wolf and the Dove became my favorite- as well as my favorite time period. This was my first experience with the time period of William the Conqueror, and I learned alot reading it. Woodiwiss' novels are full of detail for the time period, and very accurate, as far as I can see.
Her heroes are strong and don't show emotion. By today's standards, perhaps not the most enlightened male characters that we romance junkies are accustomed to-- but this was the 70s and the 80s-- for its time period- the best.
My biggest misunderstanding in this novel was what happened to divide Wulfgar from his Saxon family-- and why he was considered a Norman conqueror and his family considered vanquished Saxons.
Okay, it took me one week to think about the book before writing a review, and I did not start another book immediately (which is not normal) the book was just that intense. I starting reading the book and was unsure of how I would feel with the forcefulness nature of it. With that said, I did like the book. The scenes were very descriptive and I felt immersed in the story. I felt what she felt, the sorrow, the drive, the pain and then slowly the happiness and loyalty to Wulfgar. Many battle scenes, this one is not for the faint hearted.
All in all, maybe a bit Scarlet O'Hara meets Stockholm Syndrome, but if you can look past that, a pretty good story.
Noble Aislinn grieves as the Iron Wolf and his minions storm through her beloved Darkenwald. And she burns with malice for the handsome Norman savage who would enslave her. . .even as she aches to know the rapture of the conqueror's kiss.
Classic Woodiwiss. One of my favorite stories by her. I have two of these copies so I'm offering one here on PBS.
As hordes of Norman invarders sweep Saxony in 1066, the lovely Aislinn of Darkenwald is torn between loyalty to her own Saxon people and her tempestuous romance with Wulfgar - the Iron Wolf of Normandy. Can her consuming passion for him wipe out the memory of her father's murder - her mother's shame - her own savage violation - all at the hands of Wulfgar's conquering forces? A turbulent story of romance for now and for all time!
This is one of the first adult romances I ever read, and it is still one of my favorites. Yes, it is dated (published in 1974), and many of its components would not be used today. But in some ways, it is a more accurate portrayal of the time than some more modern works.
The story opens in 1066 as William the Conqueror fights his way to the throne of England. He prefers to offer the Saxons the option of surrendering and living to have to kill them and lose their potential as subjects. Some of his knights agree with him, but others do not. Wulfgar is one of his knights, charged with securing the lands of Darkenwald and Cregan. Wulfgar split his force and went to Cregan himself and sent one of his knights, Ragnor, to secure Darkenwald. Ragnor had precise instructions on the terms to offer but ignored them for his own goals. Instead, he used every means available to goad the lord of Darkenwald into fighting and then killed him and many others. He then took the lord's daughter, Aislinn, captive, with conquest on his mind.
Aislinn is an eighteen-year-old beauty with red hair and a temper to match. She watched her father struck down, her mother beaten, and life as she knew it crumble around her. But there was no way that she would give in to her father's murderer. I loved her spirit and determination, though it seemed a bit reckless to bait Ragnor the way she did, as the later events proved. Aislinn is also incredibly loyal and loving. Rather than flee the next morning while Ragnor slept, she tarried to bury her father. There she was discovered by Wulfgar when he arrived at Darkenwald.
Wulfgar is a knight with a fearsome reputation as a warrior. He was furious at the carnage he found, and his confrontation with Ragnor was blunt and to the point. But for all that fearsomeness, it is immediately apparent that he is neither unreasonable nor cruel. Aislinn expects the worst from him and is surprised at the fairness with which he treats her defeated countrymen. He also removes her from Ragnor's possession and takes her for himself. She's not happy about that but counts herself lucky to be away from Ragnor.
I loved the development of the relationship between Wulfgar and Aislinn. The sparks are there from the beginning, though initially, they were sparks of antagonism. Aislinn has no problem standing up to Wulfgar, hiding her fears behind anger. Instead of reacting with anger of his own, Wulfgar seems mostly amused by her. Aislinn is confused by his treatment of her and the way he makes her feel. Over the next days and weeks, Wulfgar works to bring order to his new lands, while Aislinn does her best to intercede for her people. I liked watching the tension build between them as the sparks of antagonism turned to sparks of attraction, with the inevitable result. Aislinn struggles with being a mistress when she was raised to be a wife.
Meanwhile, Wulfar has his own struggles. He has always been able to move from woman to woman, forgetting each one quickly. But when William sends for him to come to London for the coronation, Wulfar discovers that he misses Aislinn - her voice, her scent, the way she feels in his arms. So he sends for her to join him there. I thoroughly enjoyed the London section. Aislinn realizes that she has fallen in love with Wulfgar, but doesn't know if she'll ever reach his heart. Some things give her hope, such as his kind actions and his distinct pleasure in her company. When Ragnor does his best to stir up trouble, Wulfgar begins to understand just how much she means to him, but still resists admitting to his feelings. I really felt for Aislinn at this point because she began to lose hope that she will ever win against his stubborn refusal to see what they could have. I laughed to see her use her intelligence as well as her appeal to make her point. Wulfgar suffered through some miserable days and nights as he fought against himself but eventually saw the light. I loved the following scenes as a much happier Wulfgar spread that happiness around.
But all does not run smoothly for the happy couple. Wulfgar's half-sister and her father had arrived some months earlier, seeking refuge after losing their lands. While Bolsgar is a good man (despite the past between him and Wulfgar), Gwyneth is a spoiled, vindictive brat. She treated everyone, especially Aislinn as if they were far beneath her. She takes up with Ragnor, who uses her for his own ends while leading her on. Darkenwald is also plagued by thieves, bent on destroying everything that Wulfgar tries to build. I enjoyed seeing Wulfgar's efforts to bring an end to the raids, including the unexpected help he got from Aislinn.
But there was more behind the raids than Wulfgar knew. Someone was out for revenge, and there was a traitor within his walls. Even though I have read this book many times before, I was still on the edge of my seat during the pursuit. The final confrontation was intense with an unexpected resolution and a surprise revelation that changed Wulfgar's life. The ending was terrific, with the return to Darkenwald and the surprise waiting there.
As hordes of Norman invaders sweep Saxony in 1066, the lovely Aislinn of Darkenwald is torn between loyalty to her own Saxon people and her tempestuous romance with Wolfgar, the iron Wolf of Normandy. Can her consuming passion for him wipe out the memory of her father's murder, her mother's shame, her own savage violation - all at the hands of wolfgar's conquering forces?
Noble Aislinn grieves as the Iron Wolf and his minions storm through her beloved Darkenwald. And she burns with malice for the handsome Norman savage who would enslave her...even as she aches to know the rapture of the conqueror's kiss...
A Saxon noblewoman, Aislinn, was turned to slave and mistress (read harlot) when Norman's invaded and overcame the Saxon homestead. Wulfgar used her as a slave but treated her somewhat kindly in bedroom matters. I honestly don't see how the vanguished can turn around and love the man responsible for raping and degrading her before her people. Sure it ends in marriage but how do you get over the grievous things done to you?
This is a 500 page book with a story that could have easily been told in 300. Woodiwiss dragged out the "romance" between Wulfgar and Aislinn to a point where it became repetitive and boring. I liked Aislinn and felt immense pity for her and her situation. I can honestly say that I would not have survived Medieval times if this is how women were treated. I'd rather be dead than submit to some vengeful barbarian. It may be romantic in the writing (not) but in the living...I think not. I usually enjoy Medieval tales but the male characters just were not at all likeable.
Norman invaders in 1066,take captive the lovely Aislinn of Darkenwald who is torn between loyalty to her own Saxon people and her growing feelings for Wulfgar - the Iron Wolf of Normandy.
Can they find lasting love, surrounded by war?