Unputdownable! Is that a word? If not it should be, at least when describing this author’s books. The Conquest is really two books in one, telling the story of two generations as it opens shortly before the Norman invasion of 1066. Saxon housewife Ailith loses her husband, brothers and new born child and attempts to take her own life, but is stopped by womanizing Norman knight Rolf de Brize. To avoid the romantic attentions of a London Goldsmith, Ailith accepts Rolf’s offer to serve as chatelaine at his castle and (of course) love follows and they have a daughter Julitta. Eventually the relationship deteriorates, not helped by the fact that Rolf has a wife and daughter in Normandy.
The second half of the book tells the story of their daughter Julitta, reunited with her father after years of separation and she has to see her beloved Benedict marry her half sister who loves the church more than she loves her husband. Caught up in the revelries of a May Day celebration the actions of Julitta and Benedict have far reaching consequences on everyone’s lives and…….
I’m not telling anymore, you have to read for yourself. Needless to say that once I picked the book up (and this is the second time around) I just could not put it down, and as with all of this author’s books the way she brings the medieval period to life in such a graceful and effortless way, be it the sights, sounds, smells, food, clothes and battles is just awesome. Although her books are becoming rare and hard to find in the US they are readily available through UK and Canada and well worth the cost and effort to do so. Five stars.