Monday, September 5, 2011

Bond of Passion-Bertrice Small

Bond of Passion
Bertrice Small
NAL, Oct 4 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780451234766

In 1565 Scotland, the laird Of Rath arranges for his daughter Annabella Baird to marry the older Earl of Duin Angus Ferguson over the objection of his wife who insists her future son-in-law is a Catholic sorcerer. Angus is the most powerful laird on the western borders. He arranged a deal with the recently widowed French Queen Marie de Guise to protect her infant daughter, Queen Mary of Scotland from the machinations of the English who plot to have her wed to the royal heir Prince Edward. Over the years Annabella and Angus forge a strong caring relationship. Annabella is there for Queen Mary whose marriage to Lord Darnley is a battlefield in spite of a son James. Lady Duin tries to help Mary avoid Queen Elizabeth’s scheme to incarcerate her on charges of treason. However, she and her spouse are happiest when together with their family.

The latest Border Chronicles (see The Border Lord and the Lady) is an enjoyable sixteenth century drama that brings to life the impact on others by the bitter rivalry between the female monarchs. The lead couple forges a Bond of Passion between them, but like many Scots and English are caught up in the cold war between the two queens. More a historical thriller that does not add anything new to the overly used rivalry, fans of the Elizabethan era will enjoy Bertrice Small’s delightful tale of trying to remain loyal without becoming a victim.

Harriet Klausner

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