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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Review: The Red Wolf's Prize by Regan Walker

Format: .mobi (provided by author in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: October 1, 2014

HE WOULD NOT BE DENIED HIS PRIZE

Sir Renaud de Pierrepont, the Norman knight known as the Red Wolf for the beast he slayed with his bare hands, hoped to gain lands with his sword. A year after the Conquest, King William rewards his favored knight with Talisand, the lands of an English thegn slain at Hastings, and orders him to wed the heiress that goes with them, Lady Serena.

SHE WOULD LOVE HIM AGAINST HER WILL

Serena wants nothing to do with the fierce warrior to whom she has been unwillingly given, the knight who may have killed her father. When she learns the Red Wolf is coming to claim her, she dyes her flaxen hair brown and flees, disguised as a servant, determined to one day regain her lands. But her escape goes awry and she is brought back to live among her people, though not unnoticed by the new Norman lord.

Deprived of his promised bride, the Red Wolf turns his attention to the comely servant girl hoping to woo her to his bed. But the wench resists, claiming she hates all Normans.

As the passion between them rises, Serena wonders, can she deny the Norman her body? Or her heart?


Regan Walker is tackling Medieval England in her latest romance, The Red Wolf’s Prize and as usual, she does a remarkable job with it.




After slaying a wolf with his bare hands then wearing its pelt into battle, Renaud de Pierrepont became known as The Red Wolf. His status as an undefeated and fierce some warrior on the battlefield was enough to strike fear into most of his enemy’s hearts. When King William rewards Renaud for his service by making him an earl and giving him the now leaderless lands of Talisand, Renaud is grateful and proud to finally have lands of his own. However, Talisand doesn’t come without one major condition: Ranaud must marry the heiress of Talisand, Serena, in order to secure his place as lord and master.

Swearing never to marry the Norman knight on his way to claim her lands, Lady Serena disguises herself as a servant, dying her telltale blonde hair to brown, and flees Talisand. Unfortunately her plans to escape go wrong and she is brought back home in time to meet the new lord of Talisand, who doesn’t recognize her as his bride to be.

Surprisingly, I haven’t read a lot of medieval romance and it’s not because I don’t enjoy it but because there isn’t much by way of promotion going on about this sub genre. I usually pick up books based on recommendations from fellow romance fans or through reviews on blogs like mine and I can honestly say, I’ve only found a handful of medieval romance in my 15 years of being a fan.

Author Regan Walker has set a pretty high standard as far as historical details go. The Red Wolf’s Prize is a mixture of mostly historical fact, a bit of romantic fiction and of course, any liberty the author takes in order to make this romance the best it can be. When I read a historical romance, I want to get a little bit of a history lesson out of it as well. I don’t expect nor want a book that’s heavy handed on the historical facts but I also don’t want the overall story to sound so outrageous that there is no way I could believe that the events could have happened in that time period. Walker does neither. As with her other books, The Red Wolf’s Prize takes a documented historical event and builds a fictional story around it with just enough details to make it historically accurate while not turning it into a snooze fest. I never got lost among the dialect of the time, which is always a fear of mine when reading historical romance and through the author’s method of explaining, I got a pretty clear picture of how life was back in the days of William the Conqueror.

Renaud and Serena’s relationship was equal parts frustration and romance. Both are very proud and sound in their beliefs but unfortunately, they’re total opposites of one another which made for some interesting conversations and obstacles in the book. I appreciated Serena’s bold statements and fierce loyalty to her people just like Renaud did. Serena is obviously a brave woman who, though seen as property in the eyes of the law at the time, does her best to take her life and future into her own hands and always tries to make her own decisions rather than sit back and let someone else do it for her. In her own right, she is just as much a champion as Renaud, perhaps even more so for she doesn’t have the battle experience the knights have but it doesn’t stop her from waging her own battles. What’s not to admire about that?

Renaud was an admirable character as well. On the battlefield, he is brutal and cunning yet he is haunted by the faces of the dead. He claims to not have patience but that’s all he shows his new people. He is strict as the new lord but merciful and fair. It’s like there were two different men inside of one body. He isn’t just the brawn to Serena’s brain, he’s a hard working and surprisingly humble man who believes in loyalty and protecting the weak. As fair as pairings go, he and Serena were spot on.

Final Verdict: The Red Wolf’s Prize is a finely crafted, beautifully executed medieval romance that should not go unread by fans of historical romance. Hopefully medieval romances will get their own shot in the spotlight soon so that books like this one be appreciated on a grand scale like Regency or Georgian romances.



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1 comment:

  1. Adria, thank you so much for such a thoughtful review--I am so glad you liked the story. And, as for the medieval romance, genre, you might enjoy seeing my article that appeared in the USA TODAY happy ever after section yesterday:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/happyeverafter/2014/10/07/regan-walker-red-wolfs-prize-medieval-romance/16862927/

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