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The Penwyth Curse [Hardcover]

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SIR ARLAN DE FROME pulled up his destrier and raised his mailed hand to halt the thirty-two men behind him, experienced and hard, mercenaries all. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.7 out of 5 stars  50 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars She has written better 2 Jan 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Audio Cassette
If you love Catherine Coulter books, forget that this one is even on the market, it simply is not in the same category as her previous novels.
Bishop is commanded by the king to end the curse of Penwyth and marry the already 4 times widowed Merryn. Merryn resides in Pennwyth with a cast of elderly characters who do not want to see the curse ended as this will mean they have been conquered by someone they aren't going to like real well.
Splice in flashbacks in the form of visions as Bishop attempts to tame Merryn at the same time that he comes to terms with his own status as a wizard, the tale jumps around and frankly would have been hard to follow if I had really cared about these characters.
As usual, Coulter flashes back to previous characters, which is always fun. However, they have no real contribution to this tedious tome.
When all comes together and the bad guys get theirs, you come to the conclusion that CC had reached the quota for the number of pages she needed to write and tied it all together in an implausible ending even for writers of this genre. It was like she had to tie it all together and boom that is it - we can get married. (Hey I am not giving anything away here, you know from page one they are getting married, you just don't know how it will all come together.)
Hopefully the next will be much better. I wish I had skipped this one.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Plot Sounded Good ! 19 Feb 2003
By M. Rondeau - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am an avid reader of historical romances and have been very fortunate in my selections to find books that appeal to my sense of romance and emotions. I myself rely heavily on reviews and authors track records, and even if a book does get slammed, if it is from an author whose excellence has been proven in the past, I try to still give it an unbiased read.
Set in the 13th century, this tells the story of Merryn, a young woman who is forced to marry four times and is widowed and still a maiden when Sir Bishop of Lythe arrives at castle Penwyth. (This plot line sounded real interesting to me!) Penwyth bears the brunt of an ancient curse, which declares that no man will ever take Penwyth, or it's heiress, by force. All four husbands died within hours of storming the castle and seizing Merryn. Is the curse real or is their foul play at work? Bishop is wise enough to take precautions and figures he'll be safe if he woos the lady first. He starts to settle into life at the castle, then he starts having dreams featuring an unknown wizard and witch and this is where I feel the novel itself starts falling apart - at least for me.
The dream-story/real time story - eventually overpowers the romance between Merryn and Bishop and at one point - I wasn't sure who the story was about as I believe there was an editing mistake that spoke of Bishop but the story seemed to be related to the dream couple. It was very convoluted and difficult to follow. The jumping around from past to present left me dizzy. Bottom line, I couldn't find myself getting emotionally involved with either couple and although there were a few quite humorous moments in the dialogs, I didn't find it to be an enjoyable and relaxing read - it was too much work to figure out who was who and where!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I found it difficult to follow. 31 Dec 2002
By Huntress Reviews - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When the king rewards Bishop with Merryn of Penwyth as his bride, the gift is a perilous one. At the age of 18, Merryn is already four times a widow, thanks to the curse that Druids have placed upon her. No man may take her or Penwyth castle by force. If he does so, he will die, and so far, that has been true. Bishop is however, a cunning man, and plots to win his bride's heart, and then claim what is his and live. He kidnaps her, and on the journey away, becomes haunted by strange dreams of someplace else. In this other world, a man seeks an elusive magical woman as his lover and wife. As the story unfolds, the two tales intertwine, and the key to one is the answer to the other as well.
*** This overlapping story, well crafted by past masters, such as Cynthia Freeman, is more than slightly confusing here. Although Merryn is the standard Coulter heroine, full of fire and strength, and Biship is a dark, mysterious hero, the plotline is extremely difficult to follow, diminshing the enjoyment of otherwise interesting personalities. ***
Reviewed by Amanda Killgore.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Coulter's Best - Pass on this one! 10 Jan 2003
By Tanya L. Schaub - Published on
Format:Audio Cassette
I was very disappointed in the much anticipated book. I had hoped for an exciting story about a curse and people in love. What I got was a time travel story with Witches, Warlocks etc... And a character who kept pulling one of the main characters back in time.
I found this story confusing and disappointing. Not up the Coulter's usual excellent writing. There seemed to be parts of the story that were missing and that she had to force some aspects of the story to get things to match up. There were sections where things mysteriously appeared with no real explanation etc... At the same time I kept listening in hopes of being more interested.
I recommend that you either look to the Legacy Series or read the Song series.
Don't buy this one new. I'd wait until you could get it used.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars By all the saints' purple boils... 31 Dec 2004
By B. Spangler - Published on
Format:Audio CD
...mayhap I have picked the wrong Coulter novel with which to begin. Even still, I cannot say it has been totally without mirth. I have found some of the dialogue laugh-out-loud funny (audio book version.) Talking back in response to the ludicrous dialogue affords some diversion, though mayhap most for drivers around me.

Must everything be redder than red, blacker than black, whiter than white, higher than high, etc? Did I really hear that the earth moved during a vigorous amatory adventure? In subject matter, this dialogue is clearly intended for adult audiences. In construction, it rivals "See Spot run". By all the saints' pimply noses, mayhap the most fun is to be derived from the creative and deliberately non-repetitive invocations of said saints. I could wish though that someone close to the author would favor us by building an auto-correct into her word processor to over-ride "mayhap" and "hard".

Oh, aye, I'll finish it (it really is a long, boring drive home and it is futile to wish the time back) but I'm glad this was a library freebie. By all the saints' split ends, I'd have been madder than mad had I purchased it.
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