A Mediocre Medieval Wales in ‘Eleanor and the Iron King’

Eleanor and the Iron KingEleanor and the Iron King by Julie Daines

Publication: Covenant Communications, August 1st, 2015

Genre: Historical Romance

Format: Free review e-book from the publisher

Rating: The view was good, but the food was bad (meh)

I read Elizabeth Chadwick as a young reader, and recently was introduced to Sharon Kay Penman. My favorite novel ever is Into the Wilderness. I just started Outlander again, after marathoning the whole first season in a weekend (read about that here). This may give you a clue as to the context of this review.

Eleanor and the Iron King promised a historical fiction set in medieval Wales. It delivered, sort of. Eleanor de Lacy is the daughter of a wicked English count, and at the beginning of the novel she is traveling to meet her soon-to-be-betrothed, Brac Goch, the supposedly ruthless, warmongering Welsh prince who lives just over the border. Her family have been feuding with him for years. Unsurprisingly, she looks forward to her pending marriage with dread and anger. Being sold like chattel; marrying a stranger; harboring a secret conviction that her intended is the murderer of her beloved elder brother. Immediately upon her arrival, the two are handfasted. Over the next several months, she stubbornly clings to her anger and resentment, even though Brac Goch gives her no reason to believe he will mistreat her (as her father did). Skilled in the use of herbs for healing, she wants to continue to use them to help the Welsh castle inhabitants, but the fact that her new betrothed forbids it acts as a spur for her feelings. (more…)

A Reader’s Guide to Devon, Bath, and London

If you’re like me, you love reading about places you travel to. Or want to travel to.

I was much busier than I expected to be (or I was nodding off on the train, or watching the scenery pass by), or I would have read more of these.

On my recent vacation to England, I was forced by necessity (a wedding) to establish a vacation base for the majority of my stay in the Devon countryside. Since I was so near, I dropped into Bath for a few days, before spending my last night in London (because trains aren’t always reliable, and getting the train to the airport on the same day I needed to fly out just seemed too risky).

Despite the distractions of exploring the outdoors, meeting up with old friends, touring tangible history, and watching British TV in hotel bedrooms, I managed to get some reading done – and to put together a list of ideal books to read to set the tone of travels to these places.

Turn the page for my guide to reading for Devon, Bath, and London.