King's Knight by Regan Walker
I particularly enjoyed this book because it is set in one of my favourite time periods, in England in the years following the Norman conquest. The author has clearly done her research and portrays the period accurately, with no historical inaccuracies to jar the reader out of the story.
Merewyn, the heroine, is the illegitimate daughter of a Saxon woman raped by a Norman knight. As such she is seen as fair game to many men despite her birth being no fault of her own. She is lucky enough to be under the protection of powerful Norman noble, the Red Wolf, and his wife the Lady Serena who has taught her some archery skills to defend herself from unwanted advances.
The Red Wolf's son is Alex, now known as the Black Wolf, a knight who has gained some renown campaigning with the English king William Rufus in Normandy. In this time period, knights were often ordered to marry as the king required, to bind alliances, and landholders in England were often required to ally their families with those in Normandy. Merewyn knows that there is no possibility that she could be allowed to marry Alex, but she allows herself to fall in love with him anyway… and you'll have to read the rest of the book to find out how they get to their happy ending.
The author's style reminds me a little of Sharon Penman, whose wonderful books about the last Princes of Wales were really the first thing to actually get me interested in history, considering the history I was taught in school was incredibly dry. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I will be looking for more of Regan Walker's work.
King's Knight is available now.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book for review through NetGalley.