Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Lespada by Kathryn Leveque

Kathryn LeVeque is a well liked, very successful author of medieval romance. Her fan following loves her work since she jettisons her readers into tales that have an essence of Medieval England (or the setting and time of a particular series), and where there's more of the fantasy than the probable reality of the times in her work. 

I read Lespada on one of my recent 3 hour coach journeys and found it was perfect for that situation. It's definitely an example of medieval romantic escapism but I suspect those who tend to read the historical novel rather than the historical romance might be a bit less enthusiastic about the attention to detail with regard to what a 13th century titled lady might have got up to.

And that's where a little prior forethought is essential these days.

If I want a 'larger than life' tale set in medieval England I'll buy authors like Kathryn LeVeque. But if I want to steep myself in the era and read what is thought to be more accurate detail regarding setting, social mores, or speech patterns of the times, then I'll reach for a historical novel set in medieval times.

For those reasons, I can read and enjoy novels in different ways.

Here's what I liked about Lespada:

Lespada by Kathryn LeVeque 4 stars

This was an exciting, and at times amusingly inventive adventure set in medieval England in the mid 1200s. The heroine of the story, Lady Devereux is a character of many parts and a lady who is very liberated for the times. She’s a lady with skills virtually unknown amongst the titled gentlewomen of her era, a decision maker that affects many around her. Looking after the poor without being a nun, and still retaining the innocence of a maiden, would definitely have been an immense challenge. Of course, as happened to all women of her station, her choice when it comes to marriage means there’s no choice at all. The actual betrothal/ wedding ceremony is fun for us to read but must have been hell for a real reluctant lady during the 1200s. On the other hand, if I were married off to Davyss de Winter I wouldn’t complain, he’s a lovely guy, but the proxy wedding deal set up by him in the book is a classic!

The dialogue flowed seamlessly; the historical research is evident though the plot. However, for me, there's a wee bit more of the fantasy than the reality of the era. I found some twenty first century phrases a bit jarring, nonetheless, they didn’t spoil the overall read.


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