At fifteen Lady Amiranth St. Clare became the bride of Tristan Geraint. She thought all her dreams had come true - until she learned on her wedding day that Tristan had married her only for her bloodline. A week later Tristan deserted her for the glories of battle. Heartbroken, Amiranth felt she'd been abandoned, not knowing that Tristan had become a prisoner of war - nor that he would one day return to the life he didn't kow he wanted until it was taken away. Eight long years pass before Tristan finally comes home. A beautiful woman greets him in the garden claiming to be Amiranth's cousin. Yet somehow she seems hauntingly familiar, with an etheral radiance that stirs him deep within his heart. Is she really his wife, grown into a lady of breathtaking beauty - or another woman who has awakened within him a passion he has never known? To discover the truth, Tristan must reveal the secrets of what happened those years he was away - and find the love that was closer than he ever imagined....
This report prepared by Amanda
Bantam, Apr 2001, 5.99, 393 pp.
In 1341, though scared, teenager Lady Amiranth St. Clair looks forward to marriage to Tristan Geraint, who she has admired from afar for several years. However, Tristan fails to share her enthusiasm. He married her for her impeccable background, which is perfect for her to beget his heir. Tristan breaks Amiranth's heart and travels to the continent to fight. However, his dreams of glory turn into a living nightmare because he is now a prisoner of war, rotting in a French dungeon. Only dreams of Amiranth keep him sane and alive.
Eight years later, Tristan returns home seeking Amiranth, but instead he meets her cousin Lily. Tristan falls in love with Lily, who detests him. Adding to his confusion is that many of the people once loyal to him are dead, victims of the plague scourging England. Much of those alive are loyal to Tristan's brother Liam, who does not want to give up the Earldom. Obtaining Lily's help, Tristan tries to regain what he lost including a love of a lifetime.
THE SECRET SWAN is a superb medieval romance that will keep readers up late in order to finish it in one sitting. The lead characters are filled with depth so they seem real and their relationships genuine. The support cast, including the graphic descriptions of the plague, provides the needed impetus to a cleverly designed plot. Shana Abe ably renders her audience with what will be considered one of the sub-genre's top novels of the year.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner