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Meaty medieval recommendations
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Kelly B



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 136

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:11 pm    Post subject: Meaty medieval recommendations Reply with quote

I am looking for recommendations for some good, meaty medieval reads. I just reread Madeline Hunter's first three books (the "By" series), and I want more! (I still regret that she made the switch over to the Regency era and hold on to the hope that maybe she'll write another medieval someday). I particularly like the feel of the time period that she gives, particular the glimpse into London life.

Anyone have suggestions? I've read all of Hunter's, as well as Gellis (notably Masques of Gold), Kinsale, the earlier books in the Merlin's Daughters series, Taylor Chase, Pillars of the Earth, many of Sharon K. Penman's books, and Dorothy Dunnett, among others. I feel like I've exhausted the field, but I know this group has an incredible amount of collective wisdom when it comes to giving recs. I want something with that same rich feel, though I do not care for abusive/overly-alpha heroes, and please, no Julie Garwood. I know the medieval period has fallen somewhat out of fashion, but if anyone has lesser known/buried treasure suggestions, I'd be grateful.
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Margaret



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 880

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Meaty medieval recommendations Reply with quote

I love Winterbourne by Susan Carroll.
And Lynn Kurland had a few good ones--This Is All I Ask is my favourite. Some did involve time travel tho, but not TIAIA.
A more recent one is Ashblane's Lady by Sophia James.
Also Jo Beverely--my favourite is The Shattered Rose.
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Ellie



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 102

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been a while since I've read any of these, but some I remember enjoying are:

For My Lady's Heart and Shadowheart by Laura Kinsale
A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
Keeper of the Dream by Penelope Williamson
Silken Threads by Patricia Ryan
A Vision of Light by Judith Merkle Riley (I think there were some sequels to this)
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Suzanna



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 210

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First and foremost I'd recommend Elizabeth Chadwick (the English one - there's an American writer with the same name). Her books are well written and very well researched, and include a lot of actual historical figures (her later books have tended to have historical figures as the main characters). Best of all, if you like them there's a great backlist.

Diana Norman wrote some wonderful medievals (including the classic Fitzempress's law, which I really wish someone would republish). She's also written a couple just recently as Arianna Franklin (Mistress of the art of death, The serpent's tale).

I second Judith Merkle Riley, who has a quirkiness unlike anyone else. And you've probably read Anya Seton's "Katherine", which is a classic.
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Kayne



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 892

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:22 am    Post subject: recs Reply with quote

I would recommend Rexanne Becnel's Rose of Blacksword (involves a handfasting at a hanging), and The Maiden Bride (which involves twins), Elizabeth Elliot's Betrothed and Warlord (which are connected), and Christina Dodd's A Knight to Remember.
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msaggie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 688

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to all the recommendations so far, I would add Doomsday Book by Connie Willis DIK-reviewed by Blythe here http://www.likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookReview.pl?BookReviewId=1354

It's a very good meaty medieval. Not a cream-puff light read at all. Not actually a romance. To Say Nothing of the Dog (sort of sequel to Doomsday Book) has more romance to it.
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Ellie



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 102

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marsha Canham wrote a medieval trilogy. I can't remember the names of the books, but they were historical takes on the Robin Hood story. And they were meaty.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I 2nd all the titles listed. More....If you can find a copy of Keeper Of The Dream by Penelope Williamson. It's such a fantastic book, I just loved it. Also, The Love Knot by Elizabeth Chadwick..also by Chadwick, The Marsh King's Daughter, The Champion. Sharon Kay Penman's, Here Be Dragons is very romantic. Also, Katherine by Anya Seton is a really lovely book, based on a true story.

To add....I am now reading Defy The Eagle...a romance between a Roman (heroine) and the hero is from Briton. Old novel, but written very well. Loving it so far. Have fun..I love a medieval setting.
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jitterbug



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved Karen Ranney's My Beloved. Here's the review. It's very romantic and moving IMO - and there's no overbearing alpha hero Wink
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

+IHS+

I second the recommendation for Jo Beverley's Shattered Rose, and add that you should also try her Lord of Midnight. A third Medieval of hers that I've read is Dark Champion, but I don't like it as much. In all three books you'll find original and fascinating pairings and a wealth of convincing historical detail, but the last book uses one too many medieval cliches (e.g. the hypocritical, lustful confessor) for me to really love it.

If you don't mind something closer to a straight Historical with some romantic elements, then Georgette Heyer's Conqueror--about William the Conqueror and Matilda, with a secondary romance featuring a fictional Norman knight and a fictional Saxon lady--is absolutely amazing!
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2499

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to those already suggested, an older author you might enjoy is Marian Edwards--"Hearts Victorious," "A Prayer and a Promise," and "A Year and a Day." I think the first of these is the best, but all are worth reading.
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Kelly B



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 136

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to all for the suggestions--many are new to me titles and authors, so I have quite a few options to explore. I figured you all would come through!
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graceC



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 470

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if you would consider this meaty, but I just finished Betina Krahn's The Marriage Test last night and enjoyed it immensely. The book features a heroine who's a cook, which is the reason why I picked it up. I love food and this book gives a glimpse of medieval French cooking and a cook's role in a nobleman's household in medieval time. The book is set in France, though, not England. The book is lighter in style compare to Madeline Hunter's books, but not disney-ish like Garwood's.
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Jane A



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 760
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This book is on my keeper shelf: Bride of the Lion by Elizabeth Stuart I take it out and re-read it every so often and love to recommend it to people. She has a couple other medievals which are pretty good, but this is my favorite.

Also, Anita Mills wrote a series of 5 medievals, starting with Lady of Fire, then Fire and Steel, Hearts of Fire, The Fire and the Fury and Winter Roses. I haven't read them all, but they are definitely meaty, published in the late '80's, early 90's.

If you go to Paperbackswap.com I think you'll find most of these available.
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1822
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ellie wrote:
Marsha Canham wrote a medieval trilogy. I can't remember the names of the books, but they were historical takes on the Robin Hood story. And they were meaty.


Yes, I read the first one a few months back. The trilogy includes:

Through a Dark Mist
In the Shadow of Midnight

and
The Last Arrow

I think most others I would recommend have already been mentioned. The only others I can think of, which you can judge as to their richness or seriousness in attempting the period are:

Uncommon Vows, Mary Jo Putney

Two time travels:
Son of the Morning, Linda Howard
A Knight in Shining Armor, Jude Devereaux

And, if you're not put off by the flowery, "bodice-ripping" historicals of the 1970's: The Wolf and the Dove, Kathleen Woodiwiss.
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