Avon, Mar 2002, 5.99, 384 pp.
In 1070 England, the King's Sword Radulf seeks the traitor Saxon Lady Wifreda whose Norman husband Vorgen turned against William and is already dead. Zigzagging across the countryside in an exhausting effort to stay free, Lily arrives at Grinswade Church seeking sanctuary, but no one remains at the House of God. Radulf arrives at the church finding Lily there. She insists she is the daughter of a vassal of the Earl of Morcar, who remained loyal to the Conqueror, using the name Lily as only her father called her.
Radulf accepts what Lily says, but remains wary as not only does he trust no one, but also disbelieves women after once being badly betrayed by one. As he uncovers Lily's identity, Radulf and his “guest” fall in love. However, once he knows who she is he feels like the fool, duped again by a female, but unable to idly allow William to destroy his Lily.
THE LILY AND THE SWORD is an exciting Conqueror romance. Though the plot strictly adheres to the era's star-crossed lovers theme, nonetheless the story provides an exhilarating spin on the era. Radulf may be a giant of a warrior, but runs the human gamut of emotions such as love, hurt, anger, possessiveness, and protectiveness towards his beloved. Lily is an intrepid heroine trying to first stay alive though she loves Radulf (Maslow's hierarchy). This duo turns Sara Bennett's debut book into a worth reading medieval romance for sub-genre fans.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner