Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Master of Torment-Karin Tabke

Master of Torment
Karin Tabke
Pocket, Nov 25 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9781416555032

In 1067 Saxon King Harold’s niece Tarian of Dunlac believes a woman should have a say in who she should marry. Good with swords, she forces a man to marry her with her sword at his throat. Soon after her sharp nuptials, she becomes a widow.

When she is abducted by a brigand who tries to make her marry him, she refuses even under the threat of torture. Norman knight Wulfson de Trevelyn rescues her, but also knows his liege William the Conqueror has assigned him to kill all of Harold's surviving relatives. However, he cannot murder Tarian, whose courage and caustic tongue excites him. Tarian drugs Wulfson and takes him to her bed hoping to become pregnant so she can lie by claiming her child has come from her late husband’s seed and not the Norman. As they fall in love, Wulfson risks his neck to keep Tarian safe from Normans, Saxons and Welshmen, but also does not trust his beloved.

Although the theme of a Saxon royal and a Norman knight fighting and falling love is a commonly used historical premise, Karin Tabke refreshes her Conqueror romance with the twist of the pregnancy ploy. Fans will enjoy the gender war between Tarian and Wulfson as each finds their taboo love testing their natural loyalties. Ms. Tabke provides medieval fans with a strong historical romance.

Harriet Klausner


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