NAL, Oct 2002, 14.00, 448 pp.
During the last decade of the fifteenth century, she was an orphan as a young child and a widow twice before she turned thirteen including her first marriage to her five-year-old first cousin. Her Uncle Henry Bolton knows that his niece Rosamund is a prize he manipulates because though she owns Friarsgate, he controls the estate.
To avoid further machinations, Rosamund marries a much older, but kind Hugh Cabot. He surprisingly treats her like a favorite daughter rather than a possession to be displayed and used. Hugh even teaches her how to manage her vast holdings. Finally, he also arranges for King Henry II to be her guardian upon his death. Now a lovely fixture at court, Rosamund becomes a lover to Prince Hal, but eventually meets Logan Hepburn who she begins to fall in love with though she has doubts about anyone becoming her latest spouse as she has developed a taste for the regal courts.
ROSAMUND, the first novel in Bertrice Small's Friarsgate's Inheritance series is a wonderful tale that brings to life the final years of the fifteenth century and the first decade of the sixteenth century. The story line will delight Ms. Small's fans because the heroine shares the same traits found in the O'Malley women (DNA testing anyone?) and could easily exchange places. Still readers will enjoy the feel of life in a bygone era mostly through the eyes of an intrepid woman.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner