Avon, Jan 2003, 5.99, 384 pp.
King John accepts the request of Sir Enguerran d'Oilly to marry one of his Highness' wards, Lady Amica de la Beres. Ami wants nothing to do with her odious hedonistic neighbor, but knows that she must obey the order of her guardian, yet refuses the king's request. The lass believes that Enguerran wants to use her to climb the social ladder and would gladly allow King John to treat her as his personal whore. Ami needs a plan and when she notices the chilly brute guarding the wards, she wonders if she could obtain the aid of Michel de Martigny.
Michel has desired Ami from the moment he first saw her, but knows a lowlife foreigner like himself is beneath the King's ward. Still he finds it extremely difficult to allow the abominable Enguerran to possess the feisty Ami. He needs a plan to save the woman he now loves.
Though there is a romantic theme throughout the tale, THE WARRIOR'S GAME reads more like a historical fiction than a medieval romance. The story line provides a deep look at the court of King John, but that turns into a double-edged sword. Readers obtain much insight into the era than usually found in a novel in which John plays a key secondary role. However, all that acumen makes the romance between the lead couple seem pale as the starring duo feels evanescent rather than fulfilling. Still Denise Hampton paints quite a portrait of thirteenth century England.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner