Zebra, Mar 2002, 6.99
In 1307, when ailing King Edward I sends troops to end Bruce's campaign for Scottish freedom, Scots take over the Borders' Castle Langley after defeating the depleted English forces that are struggling with the plague. Scottish leader Eric Graham learns that his child is dead from the plague and his wife is near death. He blames Lord Afton for their plight feeling the inhuman treatment of the Scottish prisoners caused their deaths, but the English aristocrat has also died from the plague. Afton's widow Lady Igrainia tries to heal the sick, but Eric treats her with scorn and warns her that if his wife dies she dies too. Eric becomes ill and Igrainia heals him, but his wife dies.
Eric informs Igrainia that King Bruce has ordered him to marry her because Edward plans to wed her to Afton's cousin Robert Neville. Igrainia says no, but Eric forces her to marry him anyway. Eric admits that Igrainia tries to help Scot and English alike and begins to fall in with her. She reciprocates after observing how much Eric cares for everyone, but she wonders if his gilded cage is any better than the one Robert would lock her inside.
KNIGHTS TRIUMPHANT, the fourth Graham Family novel, is a well-crafted medieval romance that displays the impact of the Kings on the lives of nobles. Though the squabble between the lead characters feels overdone, the cast provides a deep look at the point when Edward I is nearing death. Fans of Shannon Drake will enjoy this tale and that the three previous will be republished.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner