Tristan D’Argent and Haith
Opening Scene: Lady Ellora has just found out that her husband, Lord James, has been killed while away in battle. Down the stairs flies Lady Corinne to fling herself over the dead body. Lord James has kept both his wife and his mistress (and each of their daughters) in the same house and has even granted Corinne the respectful title of Lady (was this even possible?).
Skip ten years …. Lady Corinne was killed by a Norman invasion, Lady Ellora has remarried to Lord Nigel …. Haith and Soleilbert (the daughters) are adults living in the castle. Lord Nigel has arranged with the King to have Soleilbert marry a Lord from the adjoining property – mostly because he hopes said Lord will not make it home from the war and the property will then go to himself, Nigel.
Tristan D’Argent arrives at his newly appointed castle, Greanly, to discover he has no villagers and no supplies as they are all at Nigel’s keep of Seacrest. Off he sneaks to find out what exactly is the situation at Seacrest is and in the stables in runs into Haith – the sister of his intended. Haith is extremely upset at the time because Nigel has just given her an ultimatum, either pretend to betroth the toad-faced abusive smithy in order to travel to Greanly to spy on Tristan or share his own bed to bear him an heir, as Ellora is not able to.
In the end, Ellora, Soleilbert, Haith and Minerva (the witchy healer aunt to Haith) travel to Greanly and from here the story really begins. The magic takes over and I begin to see the pull between Tristan and Haith.They are drawn to each other, have visited each others dreams since they were children and are soul-mates of the most magical kind. Now that they’ve found each other to be apart means to make one of them so sick they could eventually die.
Tristan petitions the King to dismiss the royal decree of his betrothal to Soleibert so that he may be free to marry Haith, Soleilbert meets and falls in love with Tristan’s first man and Lady Ellora works behind the scenes with her husband to bring Tristan down. Tristan’s long lost mother who abandoned him as a child arrives back on the scene and its touch and go for awhile as to whose side she’s really on.
For about the first fifty pages, I was feeling just kind of mehhh with this story, but from the time Haith arrives at Tristan’s castle it all started to pull together. This story was different from any other medieval story I’ve ever read … and for that point alone I enjoyed it. The magic and the idea of soul mates always works out well for me.