Monica Bentley makes history sexy.
In the aftermath of the carnage at Poitiers, the French king Jean le Bon rots in the Tower of London. His son, the Dauphin, takes charge, working to hold the reins of power. He requires lands to tax and warriors to call to action. Most of all, he needs the most powerful nobles of the land at his shoulder.
Meanwhile, with no battles imminent, knights are finding other ways to get in trouble. Sir Tristen is relentlessly pursued by the ladies of the Palais de la Cite, luring him to their night chambers. Getting caught means fighting a duel in the morning, often with the Dauphin's allies. Yet, how can he resist?
Looming behind all this, deep in the forest, the witch Tempeste is imprisoned in her own dark tower, mooning over him. Once Tristen's captor, now she is the prisoner of his heart, scheming endlessly to win him back.
These separate strands become inextricably intertwined, creating a darkly passionate tale of life and love in medieval Francia.
For mature readers only.
What drives you as a writer of history?
The story of people – their passions, flaws, redemption. No matter what time or place, we have the same dreams and nightmares.
What draws you to medieval France?
The pageantry, ambition, intrigue between nobles and royalty. Edward III looms large for Cressy and Poitiers, his bete noir being du Guesclin, one of the first practitioners of asymmetrical warfare. It's a wonderful stage on which to mount a story readers return to repeatedly.
Your heroines find their strength through their femininity.
The root of a woman's power lies in her sexuality. Though doomed to a society designed to keep them in the background, Emma of Normandy, Eleanor of Aquitaine or Elizabeth I come forward by using their sexuality to render men weak in the knees.
What sources of inspiration did you use?
Chroniclers Venerable Bede, Chaucer and Froissart, philosophers Aquinas, Bonaventura, and Teresa d’Avila, and classical and medieval historical and military authorities. Fencers will recognize my thrill of the fight.
“...a captivating romance, full of courtly politics and intrigue with a dash of paranormal magic.”
“I was enthralled from the very first page ... very well written storyline and the characters were so well developed that I was totally hooked until the turn of the very last page!”
“I read a lot but I seldom leave reviews because most books just fade to the back of my mind. This series is not basic and has stuck with me and kept me coming back until the end. Don’t miss out on these books.”