His Castilian Hawk by Anna Belfrage #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

For bastard-born Robert FitzStephan, being given Eleanor d’Outremer in marriage is an honour. For Eleanor, this forced wedding is anything but a fairy tale.

Robert FitzStephan has served Edward Longshanks loyally since the age of twelve. Now he is riding with his king to once and for all bring Wales under English control.

Eleanor d’Outremer—Noor to family—lost her Castilian mother as a child and is left entirely alone when her father and brother are killed. When ordered to wed the unknown Robert FitzStephan, she has no choice but to comply.

Two strangers in a marriage bed is not easy. Things are further complicated by Noor’s blood-ties to the Welsh princes and by covetous Edith who has warmed Robert’s bed for years.

Robert’s new wife may be young and innocent, but he is soon to discover that not only is she spirited and proud, she is also brave. Because when Wales lies gasping and Edward I exacts terrible justice on the last prince and his children, Noor is determined to save at least one member of the House of Aberffraw from the English king.

Will years of ingrained service have Robert standing with his king or will he follow his heart and protect his wife, his beautiful and fierce Castilian hawk?

My Review

Noor is a teenager living in the countryside with her dog and her horses, far away from the political challenges of life under the rule of Edward I.  Bravely accepting marriage to Robert FitzStephan, the bastard son of a Lord, she rapidly matures both physically and mentally.  She should detest the man responsible for the death of her father but finding him an honourable man who treats her with respect she develops a passion for him.

This is a novel which shows us the brutality and hardships of medieval life in a well-researched account of Edward Longshanks determination to finally subdue the Welsh by murdering their Prince and capturing his children, but it is also a sensual love story with the complication of an evil spurned woman.  In addition to the threat of Edith’s revenge, Noor cannot abandon her family links with Welsh cousins, putting loyalty before diplomacy. Can she trust Robert to stand by her after years of faithful service to the King?

Noor’s life is further complicated by her kinship with Queen Eleanor. At first, she is shown kindness and given help with her relationship with Robert but soon she realises that life is not straight-forward and is difficult to know who to trust.  The conclusion of this book is a surprise but the promise of a new adventure for Noor and Robert is very exciting.

His Castilian Hawk on Amazon UK

My review of The Prodigal Son by Anna Belfrage

Published by lizannelloyd

Love history, reading, researching and writing. Articles published in My Family History and other genealogy magazines.

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