Title: Dragonblade The Dragonblade Trilogy, Book 1
Author: Kathryn Le Veque
Genre: Historical Romance, Medieval
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.; 2 edition
Published Date: July 29, 2014
Narrated by: Tim Campbell
Length: 11 hours, 34 minutes
Release Date: March 3, 2014
A. D. 1326 – Tate Crewys de Lara is the son of kings. The illegitimate son of Edward Longshanks, Tate has the qualities of a magnificent king. But fate is cruel, leaving him a mere knight protecting young Edward III during the uncertain days following the horrific murder of Edward II.
While gathering allies for the young heir in Northumberland, he meets the Lady Elizabetha “Toby” Cartingdon. Daughter of the Lord Mayor of Cartingdon Parrish, Toby is a gorgeous woman with a mind for business. It is she who runs the parrish, not her father. Taken aback by the strong, bitter female, Tate is nonetheless intrigued with her. He soon discovers why Toby seems so hard; her father is a drunkard and her mother is an invalid, leaving Toby responsible to not only provide for the family, but also for the welfare of her small sister.
Feeling something more than curiosity, Tate begins to break through the hard surface to discover the warm and compassionate woman beneath. Yet factions who would see the young heir dead make a sudden appearance, drawing Toby into their malevolent plan. Soon she finds herself linked to both Tate and the quest to take the throne from Roger Mortimer. It becomes Tate’s destiny to not only win a throne for young Edward, but to win Toby’s heart as well.
This tale will keep you riveted to the events. As in all Kathryn Le Veque’s Medieval romances, they include so much more. They are set in a historical setting where factions are divided, gritty with battles, sometimes gore, and completely saturated with emotion–not to mention they have very satisfying and passionate love scenes.
Edward III has two problems. He’s 14, which is just about the time a boy wants to be a man. However, being the King makes it a precarious existence—not yet having the skill set to govern or make wise decisions. It’s hard to be a King in hiding, fearing your enemies will find you and destroy you before you attain your rightful place on the throne. Luckily, he has his uncle to protect him, Tate Crewys de Lara, who has the best of qualities within himself. As the illegitimate son of King Edward II, he steps up to the challenge.
When Tate does his duty by the King, hoping to raise an army and possibly find a way to finance it, he comes upon a parrish and a town meeting of sorts. Toby, Lady Elizabetha, has spoken contradicting the head of the parrish, who happens to be her father. Unbeknownst to the village folk, Tate and several large knights are at the back of the crowd. Tate dislikes the beautiful, but disrespectful, assertive approach Toby has. But this dislike slowly changes as he discovers and understands what Toby endures. This part of the story shows what Tate and Toby are made of—hero and heroine material!
Toby is an intelligent woman and through several events and the terrible destruction of her home she discovers all that Tate has not told her. This is where Le Veque puts the reader on edge, as it were.
Where Tate is all good intention, he falls flat on his face with Toby. Toby, not only surprises Tate, she will surprise the reader with the powerful, determined will she possesses. She’s a gutsy woman I came to respect and admire.
I look forward to the rest of the Dragonblade series.
A note about the narrator – Tim Campbell. I have listened to many of his narrations and he has become one of my favorites. He takes a talented writer’s story and makes it all the more pleasurable. I hear the emotion of the characters within dialogue—even in their thoughts. His deep bass voice is melodious, at times dramatic, with a pace capturing the mood of the scene. He’s also very flexible with character personification, using tone, dialect, and various accents when called to do so. Check out the sample of his narration on Audible.com.