Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Review - Lord of Midnight
Title: Lord of Midnight
Author: Jo Beverley
Publishing Date: 1998
Claire’s father, Clarence of Sommerbourne was a part of a rebellion against the current King. He dies in a fight at the beginning of the story. The winner of that fight, the king’s champion Renald de Lisle is given Clarence’s land and holdings along with the order to wed either his daughter Claire or one of his two sisters. Renald allows the women to choose who will become his bride. One thing leads to another and Claire is the one who stubbornly accepts her duty to her people.
At first Claire is confused about her feelings for Renald. On the one hand, she knows he is a battle hardened warrior unused to her gentle way of life. Her father was more of a scholar than warrior. Claire expects Renald to treat her badly, by groping her or being cruel to her. When he is actually very gentle and kind, she starts to feel an unwanted attraction for him. She is confused by these new feelings he stirs within her and she feels guilty about her new attraction. She wonders if she is being disloyal to her father.
Where I had trouble with this story is that there is a very big secret hanging over Renald and Claire’s relationship. I knew the truth was going to come out, I just didn’t know when and because of this, it made it hard for me to really focus on the development of Renald and Claire’s relationship. Also, most of the conflict is internal and this leads to a slow development of the story. I think I would have enjoyed the story more if things would have moved a little quicker.
I really enjoyed both Renald and Claire’s personality. Renald especially made for a very nice hero. His personality is unusual in a medieval knight. He was very patient with Claire and very kind. When he was angry he was controlled and never cruel. I think readers who enjoy a beta hero would really like Renald.