Alnwick Castle is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Northumberland, and Hogwarts students learned to fly in its bailey. So say the historical notes at the back of Immortal Warrior by Lisa Hendrix. The fact that I've actually seen the castle in real life only adds to the attraction.
The immortal warrior of the title is Ivo, which is in fact the name of the Norman lord given charge of the castle after a 1095 uprising against William the Conqueror. The historical lord's descendants held the castle for 200 years, though he may not have been quite as intriguing a character as the one portrayed by the author. Here, Ivo is an immortal Norse warrior, eternally cursed by the sorceress whose son died at his friend's hand. Each of the survivors of that long-ago battle now lives a strange half-life, unable to die, and shape-changing between animal and human as the sun rises and sets.
As an eagle, Ivo spies out the land for his king. And as a man he reports what he's learned. But one thing the king and his Christian men must never learn is Ivo's shape-changing, which they would surely call demonic. And when Ivo is given a castle and a bride, he must keep his terrible secret in a far more public place, and hide his darkest fears from his dearest love.
Romantic Times describes this as "a bold and beautiful fairy-tale for grown-ups." I'd have to say they're right. The love-scenes are sensual and sweet, the history is delightfully convincing and well-researched, the characters are tortured and wonderful, the plot twisting, surprising, satisfying. The author combines myth, adventure and romance in well-seasoned proportions and creates a delightful whole. I shall eagerly watch for the next in this series.
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About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth (SheilaDeeth)
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
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