Desert Isle Keeper
Wow, what a great read! If you’re looking for a spellbinding, entertaining, top-notch medieval that not only focuses of the love between a knight and his lady, but rushes headlong into battle against the forces of evil as well, look no further!
Vivian of Amesbury (yes, she’s a Saxon) is Merlin’s daughter and, unlike her two sisters, she knows it. But, it’s 1066 – Merlin has been dead for several hundred years! Yet, Vivian is young and lovely – how could this be? Well, suffice it to say, Vivian has had to deal with her special gifts (Merlin’s “legacy”) all her lonely life and never thought to love or be loved, since to do so would neutralize her inherited mystical powers. What she doesn’t know is that pure and abiding love would serve to enhance her magic. But, what mortal man could ever come to love her so deeply, or so truly?
Your basic knight in shining armor, Rorke FitzWarren (yes, he’s a Norman) is William the Conqueror’s first officer at Hastings. As an unacknowledged bastard (were there no legitimate soldiers in William’s army?), Rorke’s single-minded focus for years has been to seek glory and wealth so he may lay claim to the estates denied him by his natural father. Upon meeting Vivian, however, his passions are so aroused, his lust so overwhelming, he finds he cannot even think about anything else when she’s around. Vivian is beautiful, intelligent, gentle, and the only healer who can bring William back from the very brink of death. While Rorke doesn’t believe in magic, he cannot deny what he sees with his very own eyes.
This is a well-plotted, well-paced story about two people who have absolutely no idea how to love or trust, but find themselves so drawn to each other, their love has the potential to reach almost heroic proportions. There’s a reason for that. About halfway through the book, I realized the emphasis had subtly shifted from Vivian and Rorke finding each other and falling in love, to the Darkness which has targeted Vivian for destruction (another of Merlin’s legacies to his daughters). So, what started out as a really good medieval romance turned into a really good, magical, larger-than-life battle against Evil. The Darkness is a powerful and cunning force. Can Vivian withstand, and even out-smart, its assault? Is Rorke strong enough in body and heart, is his love for Vivian true enough to give him the strength and courage necessary to save them both from certain doom? Can the two of them together form a bond powerful enough to overcome the forces of incredible evil that threaten to annihilate all that is good?
I was impressed with the wonderful and imaginative job the author has done in creating this tale. Daughter of Fire compares favorably with existing, well-established Arthurian legends, and has retold the fable so well, it could have/should have jumped the confines of Romance and been considered by more mainstream readers.
Vivian and Rorke are well-written, well-defined characters. They are likable and I grew to care about what happened to them. There is plenty of action and the love scenes are very nice indeed. Rorke’s sexy best friend Tarek (hero of Daughter of the Mist) and the troubled Stephen (hero of Daughter of the Light), are introduced in this tale, and I cannot wait to read their stories. Daughter of Fire is a major keeper for me. If the rest of the series is as good, my keeper shelf is going to get pretty crowded.