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~Lady of the Knife~

by Janet Miller

Heroines:  varied

            Lady Evelyn of Silvavale needs to find a husband in a hurry.  If she doesn't marry and produce an heir, her inheritance will slip through her fingers and pass to another relative.  So she fixes her eyes upon Thomas, a tough, young, debt-ridden fighter who is a champion in the ring but untried in real combat--a circumstance that is set to change when he is kidnapped just before his wedding.


              Thomas has a passel of sisters, the most annoying of which is the plump red-headed midwife Emma, who gave up her dreams of being married when her oafish betrothed abandoned her as soon as her dowry dissipated into thin air.  Now she alternately ignores and exacerbates all men folk, especially the handsome, dangerous-looking Martin, right-hand man to her new sister-in-law.

              But some persistent person means to see Evelyn's estate pass out of her hands.  If kidnapping the bridegroom won't do the trick, then perhaps kidnapping the very pregnant bride will.  Can Thomas, Emma, and Martin rescue Evelyn and her unborn babe in time?


What worked for me:


              I thought that the opening for this story was pretty strong, dropping the reader right into the kidnapping of Thomas rather than filling us all in on the whole history first. The rest of the storyline was also enjoyable and the characters were sympathetic, with the women being particularly strong.


             Size-wise Evelyn and Emma were opposite as day and night--one a slender fighter, the other a plump nurturer.  But when cornered Emma could handle herself very well, thank you very much!


What didn't work for me:


             The writing was less than polished in spots, with some rather noticeable typos and missing words in some passages.             


              I didn't mind it once I realized what sort of story this was, but its inclusion in the fantasy genre had me conjuring up magical beasties and such which never appeared.  This book really feels more like a medieval romance with some unusual societal details in place of those of Europe from a thousand years ago.




             Fans of medieval romances should enjoy this story, but fantasy fans looking for paranormal elements may be disappointed when they don't appear.


Warning: There are some steamy and violent scenes in this book.

If you liked "Lady of the Knife" you might also enjoy the "Time of the Twins", "Sorrows of Adoration", "Darkover" series , "The Conqueror", "Earth Song", or "Oracle".

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