The Briar Rose

Linda Neale, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (287p) ISBN 978-0-312-01003-4
In her first novel, Neale combines historical elements of the 13th century Welsh-Norman-English conflict with fictional characterizations appropriate to a tale of war and romance. Norman knight Robert deLacey first encounters Briallen, the ""Briar Rose,'' in her mother's cookshop in the demesne of Brecon, and meets her again when marauding Gascons have plundered the shop and killed her mother. As she makes her way alone, Briallen is caught up not only in the civil wars, but in the conflicting loyalties engendered by her love for deLacey. Escaping from the lecherous protection of the High Lord of Brecon, she is befriended by a Welsh rebel who would claim her as his wife. It is deLacey, however, who in the settlement of accounts political and personal will win Briallen. The large and busy canvas on which the feudal society of England and Wales is displayed is animated by colorful characters, many of them real people, about whom the author appends historical notes. (September 24)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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