Sonnet, Jul 2001, 6.50, 448 pp.
In 1154 England, Lord Mark informs his beloved daughter Alista that he must attend Henry's coronation to insure the monarch does not give away their castle to William Brinlaw, son of a traitor. In front of Henry, Mark and Will argue with the latter stating that the former will have to kill him to regain Brinlaw Castle. That night, Mark dies. Henry informs Will that he will regain Brinlaw only if he marries Alista.
Will leaves immediately for Brinlaw where he bluntly informs Alista that her beloved father is dead and that the King wants them married. She refuses until she considers the safety of her people. They marry even though neither trusts the other. When Will is accused of killing Mark, he goes to London to stand trial. Meanwhile, Alista returns to her matriarchal home, the ruined Falconskeep. She feels the need to follow her Faerie heritage of her mother by flying away as a falcon. Only Will's love might keep her on this plane if he can prove his feelings are real.
A FALCON'S HEART is an exciting medieval romance with paranormal elements though the Faerie segments seem more of an add-on that is not explained to the reader. The story line is fast-paced and Jayel Wylie delivers a feel for King Henry's early years as ruler. The lead characters are a charming pair with a history that makes them unlikely partners while the support cast propels the plot forward so that the audience never rests. Ms. Wylie has written a effective historical romance that sub-genre fans will appreciate.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner