Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Between Two Fires by Mark Noce

Saxon barbarians threaten to destroy medieval Wales. Lady Branwen becomes Wales' last hope to unite their divided kingdoms when her father betroths her to a powerful Welsh warlord, the Hammer King. But the fledgling alliance is fraught with enemies from within and without as Branwen becomes the target of assassination attempts and courtly intrigue. A young woman in a world of fierce warriors, she seeks to assert her own authority and preserve Wales against the barbarians. But when she falls for a young hedge knight named Artagan, her world threatens to tear itself apart.

Caught between her duty to her people and her love of a man she cannot have, Branwen must choose whether to preserve her royal marriage or to follow her heart. Somehow she must save her people and remain true to herself, before Saxon invaders and a mysterious traitor try to destroy her.

Reminiscent of classics like The Mists of Avalon and A Game of Thrones, and newer popular titles like Hild, Branwen's story combines elements of mystery and romance with Noce's gift for storytelling.

I went into this book expecting a historical romance, but I the romance felt lack luster in my opinion. I did not feel the connection between the romantic leads at all. I thought the romance was an afterthought. The romance didn't feel believable. There were some sweet and steamy moments, but I didn't love them as much as I would have if I was more connected to the romance. I wanted the romance to be more developed throughout this book.

I loved how the main character, Lady Branwen, was strong and independent. She held her own against the men, and I really admired that. It was inspiring to see a woman stand up for herself in that time period. However, I had a hard time connecting to her emotionally. I liked her, but I never really grew attached to her.

The setting and world building of this book was brilliant. I thought the author did a great job at describing everything and making me feel like I was actually there. I also really liked how the author described the action scenes. I was on the edge of my seat during some of those scenes! It felt like there was an intense movie playing out in my head!

One thing that did bother was that everything seemed to go too well for Lady Branwen. Things were solved very quickly and easily, which bothered me. I would have liked to see more suspense or conflict in those moments.

Overall, I thought this was an interesting book. I really liked the historical aspects of this book, and I found it to be a fast paced novel. I think people who love historical books with lots of action will enjoy this book.

3 / 5 Fangs

*This ebook was given to me in exchange for a honest review. * 

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