Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bond of Blood

Title: Bond of Blood
Author: Roberta Gellis
Publishing Date: 1965
Genre: Medieval
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm

This book is a very hard to book for me to grade. It is a very well written and researched book, but some things in it were very hard to swallow. Bond of Blood is one of the first books Roberta Gellis wrote, if not the first. It is a story of two families who come together by marriage. Politics plays a major reason for the marriage. The Earl of Pembroke ultimately wants to kill his son-in-law to gain control of his lands. So he hatches a scheme to wed his daughter Leah to Cain, Lord of Radnor.

Cain and Leah are instantly attracted to one another and are pleased with the arranged marriage. Cain has never had luck with the ladies. He was in love once before, but she was cruel to him and hurt him pretty badly. Cain is unlike other men from his time. He was taught by priests when he was a boy, so he can read and write unlike other men of war. Cain also has a deformed foot. He has made adjustments for it and has over compensated all his life to be a better warrior because of it. He also has emotional scars from people thinking his foot is the mark of the devil. Even his own Father has said this to him.

Cain is very intelligent and Wiley. He easily picks up on traitorous feelings from his father-in-law and takes precautions against him. I really liked Cain. Gellis made him very human, which means he makes a lot of mistakes. Even though, he does some things that are cringe worthy, I still really liked him. He learns from his mistakes and when he did something wrong and he knew it, he would apologize. I found him endearing.

Let’s talk about Leah. Okay, she is fifteen. I know. It goes against everything I like in a romance and yet I still liked this book. Cain is twice her age and yet somehow Gellis made it work. I think the reason for this is that Leah and Cain truly felt like characters from the twelfth century. I could believe that they were a product of the times they lived in and all their decisions and actions remained true to the era. Leah was just precious. She was very obedient and sweet, but when something really mattered to her she could become mulish and take a stand. She was always honest. Thank God, because there were enough lies floating around with all the political intrigue.

That is where the story stumbled for me a little bit. I had a very hard time keeping track of all the different Lords and Ladies and Kings and Queens and who was on who’s side and who was going to stab who in the back. Did I confuse you? That’s because I am still scratching my head over what exactly happened in the book as far as that goes. After thinking on this book for a few days, I must say that I did really enjoy it. It is a lot different from the romances of today, but different in a good way. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart. Leah and Cain have a difficult journey to their “Happily Ever After”, but wow, what a journey.

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