Author: Elin Gregory
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Cover Artist: Meredith Russell
Rating: 4.00 of 5 Stars
Your master has the field for today, but his name, whatever it might be, is without honour.
Olivier the squire worships the Black Knight and takes a fierce joy in his prowess as he defends a bridge against all comers. Olivier only wishes that his master loved him as much in return instead of treating him as a servant and occasional plaything.
Then word comes that the King desires to cross the bridge. With an army approaching, a bright eyed archer enticing Olivier to desert and the first cracks beginning to show in the Black Knight’s gruff demeanor, Olivier is left wondering if his honour is worth more than a chance for happiness.
Josie Goodreads’s View:
In A Taste of Copper honour and vows unbroken is the code by which all men are judged. For squire Oliver this means serving his master Sir Maheris Schade, the Black Knight, the best way he can, without any expectation of return.
Sir Maheris guards the bridge leading the lands of his lord Count Tancared of Unterspreewald. Count Tancared has rebelled against his lawful king and is in retreat. Maheris and the bridge is all that stands between the Count and his king. Even though the Count and his men committed grave atrocities in their fight against the king Maheris’s honour compels him to hold the bridge. His honour or his life is the creed by which he stands.
When the King arrives at the bridge Oliver goes into his camp to explain how Maheris’s cannot forsake his oath to the Count, while there Oliver finds his eye caught by Hywel the King’s Master Archer. Hywel’s lust stirs up feelings in Oliver, unrequited feelings he has for Maheris. As Maheris faces his destiny with the Kings champions he finally shows Oliver how he feels about him, but is it too late? Can honour be satisfied with anything less than victory against the king’s champions or Maheris’s own death?
I loved every word of this story. The subject and style of the writing created an absorbing and fascinating story. It was something completely different to what I’ve read before and all along I felt very much like a voyeur, looking in from the outside. It’s written in an old style narrative which serves the story perfectly and it’s narrated mainly by Oliver with only a fleeting glimpse of Hywel or the man behind the Black Knight. It’s a hypnotic story, I could imagine the bridge and Maheris on his horse surrounded by dense mist or shifting fog, and the cover certainly helped create the atmosphere. I felt the men could all even have been ghosts of another time. The setting, filled with glorious detail, was vague as well, it isn’t meant to be England but then it could have been, it was quite anglicized, in fact he story could have been set in any European county, and in any time period from King Arthur right up to the Normans.
The one thing I did think though was that it felt like the middle and the end of a story, I got the impression that I started reading after the fact, so much had happened before I even got to the start. The author does explain the keys events leading up to the stalemate on the bridge and the story is wrapped up very nicely, I just felt a bit lost to start with, but saying that I wouldn’t have missed this for anything and I highly recommend A Taster of Copper to all lovers of historical MM romance. It’s uniquely different and really shouldn’t be missed. It’s also a beautiful taste of Elin Gregory’s writing for anyone unfamiliar with her work.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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