In the Shadow of the Storm by Anna Belfrage

In the shadow of the storm by anna BelfrageAdam de Guirande owes his lord, Roger Mortimer, much more than loyalty. He owes Lord Roger for his life and all his worldly goods, he owes him for his beautiful wife – even if Kit is not quite the woman Lord Roger thinks she is. So when Lord Roger rises in rebellion against the king, Adam has no choice but to ride with him – no matter what the ultimate cost may be.

England in 1321 is a confusing place. Edward II has been forced by his barons to exile his favourite, Hugh Despenser. The barons, led by the powerful Thomas of Lancaster, Roger Mortimer and Humphrey de Bohun, have reasons to believe they have finally tamed the king. But Edward is not about to take things lying down, and fate is a fickle mistress, favouring first one, then the other.
Adam fears his lord has over-reached, but at present Adam has other matters to concern him, first and foremost his new wife, Katherine de Monmouth. His bride comes surrounded by rumours concerning her and Lord Roger, and he hates it when his brother snickers and whispers of used goods.

Kit de Courcy has the misfortune of being a perfect double of Katherine de Monmouth – which is why she finds herself coerced into wedding a man under a false name. What will Adam do when he finds out he has been duped?

Domestic matters become irrelevant when the king sets out to punish his rebellious barons. The Welsh Marches explode into war, and soon Lord Roger and his men are fighting for their very lives. When hope splutters and dies, when death seems inevitable, it falls to Kit to save her man – if she can.

My thoughts:

Kit discovers she has a half-sister named Katherine and Kit is forced to take her place and marry Sir Adam because he half-sister refused to marry him. As I read this I thought what is the big deal if she doesn’t not want to marry him? Why the need to replace her? Well there is a reason and it is an interesting one.

I began this story with a critical eye. I wondered if this new book would hold a candle to the Grahams. Could Anna pull it off? New characterization can be tricky when you have been so invested in characters you have written about for so long. Then there are conflicts. Anna sure has a knack for writing those and it shows in this story.

I do love the historical aspects of this story and it’s not often anymore that I read stories set in this time period. I enjoyed it. I do have to say though at times I worried were the plot was going and at times I felt my mind begin to wonder. I do caution readers there is sex scenes in this story. I probably could have done without them. I skipped over them. But that in itself doesn’t take away from what I thought overall of the story.

I did felt that Kit tended to be a bit too modern for the period at times but none the less, I enjoyed reading about her.

I am not sure what to make of Adam and his allegiance to his Lord.

I love to dislike Hugh Dispenser. So you see, Belfrage sure doesn’t shy away from the brutality and the forced turmoil women were put through during that period. All because of men’s lust for power and allegiance. I learned a lot in this book and this story evoked emotions in me and pulled me in enough to look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Stephanie M. Hopkins


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