Born out of wedlock, Miriel Weaver adored her grandfather, a master weaver of fine wool. Her step-father takes over the weaving business upon her grandfather’s death and Miriel rebels against him once to often and is packed off to a convent, although her rebellious nature continues and she doesn’t exactly get along with life with the nuns either. Nicholas de Caen was a prisoner of King John until the baggage train is lost when the tide overtakes it as they are crossing the marsh. Nicholas reaches shore and finds quite a prize – a fortune in coin and the crown of the Empress Matilda. He is able to hide the treasure before he collapses from the ordeal and is eventually found by Miriel and another nun and nursed back to health.
Miriel follows Nicholas when he leaves and convinces him to escort her to safety in a new town, but when he falls asleep the lure of the crown and the silver is too much and believing she’s entitled to some for saving his life she takes what she considers her fair share and soon sets herself up in the wool business. Unable to trace her, Nicholas cuts his loses and uses what is left of the treasure to purchase a ship or two and begins shipping goods. Miriel eventually marries twice, but neither marriage is for love and both are older men. Her second husband Robert is ambitious and controlling and will stop at nothing to achieve his ends, including murder. Of course fate ordains that Nicholas and Miriel’s path will cross again – will it develop into love or hate for her betrayal? What will Robert do when he realizes the two have a past connection?
Well, you know I’m not telling – read it for yourself. This was another outstanding saga from Elizabeth Chadwick, I simply cannot get enough of her books, and every one of them sends me back to another world, another time. This was a bit different from the author’s usual story; you won’t find any lords, ladies or knights in this one. Just a fascinating look at the ins and outs of the wool trade, an interesting foot note in history on the disappearance into the quicksand of King John’s treasure. I really enjoyed the pairing of Nicholas and Miriel and as for Robert, what a delightfully OTT baddie. Oh, and for the record I do enjoy a good well-rounded bad guy, I just dislike it when authors use cheap tricks like yellow teeth and stinky breath *telling* me how bad the baddie is instead of *showing* me. Hats off to Ms. Chadwick for knowing the difference. 5/5.