Knight Triumphant (A Zebra historical romance) Mass Market Paperback – 22 Jan 2009
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Come the Morning
Conquer the Night
Seize the Dawn
The Lion in Glory
It is definitely a must that you read "Seize the Dawn" before "Knight Triumphant." While reading "Seize," be sure to pay close attention to a loving couple by the names of "Eric" and "Margot." They make "Knight Triumphant" much more meaningful.
You will find that after reading the first few books in the series, you will want to skim through some parts of this book that repeat the history of the war and certain parts of the Graham family history. These parts are, of course, included in the stories for readers whom have not read the first books in the series. In "Knight Triumphant," these parts are short and easy to skip over. Also, the author has veered from the type of couple that she used in the first three books (a Scottish knight, and an English heiress) to make this story unique.
The war between Scotland and England has been a bloody battle for well over a decade. After years of fighting for their freedom, Scotland is at last feeling the triumph of winning back their country. King Edward I of England is old and his health is failing. Scotland has finally crowned their own king, Robert Bruce, and has united to fight as one people. In their new power, Scotland brings down many castles that have been taken over by the English. The one castle that they will not touch is "Castle Langley." It has been infected with a plague that has killed nearly everyone within it's walls. The English inhabitants blame the Scots who contracted the plague while at sea, then infected much of Scotland.
Eric Graham is desperate to get to his beloved wife, Margot, and their little girl, Aileen. They have been held prisoner in Castle Langley. Both have been stricken by the plague. The lady of Langley, Igrainia, is known to have knowledge of herbs for healing. Her people have cast her out of the castle, in fear that she may also become ill while nursing the countless victims. Eric finds her en-route to a safer territory. He seizes her and demands that she give him passage into Langley, as well as heal his wife and child. Igrainia has already lost her own husband to the plague, and knows that there is little she can do.
Upon entering Castle Langley, Eric and his men find that there are very few people left alive and well enough to guard it. He instantly claims the castle in the name of his king, Robert Bruce. He puts his wife in the master's chamber where he insists that Igrainia will save her. Eric sits at Margot's side as he prays for her life. While doing so, he also becomes infected. Now he is fighting for his own life. In his half- conscious state, he realizes that his wife has left this world. He is utterly devastated.
Igrainia knows how it feels to lose someone so dear. After losing her own husband, her compassion fuels her attempts to save Eric. She works tirelessly to see him through the plague that has taken hold of his body. Many people of Langley suggest that she should let the enemy invader die. But fear of retaliation by his men, and her own sense of honor, demand that she try to save him. When he revives, he is determined to find revenge against the people who took his wife prisoner. His greatest enemy is the man who imprisoned Margot, and is now trying to capture and marry Igrainia, Robert Neville. Neville wants all of the wealth that Igrainia has been left after her husband's death. He'll murder anyone who stands in his way.
Eric is angry and racked with grief. He is also afflicted with unbearable guilt as he finds himself growing to care for Igrainia. He learns that Igrainia is suffering the very same devastation. In their months together defending Langley, they progress from blaming one another for their lost loves, to giving one another a reason to hope for the future.
While reading "Knight Triumphant," you'll come to adore Eric's cousin Jamie. You'll look forward to reading his story in the 5th book, "The Lion in Glory."
Eric informs Igrainia that King Bruce has ordered him to marry her because Edward plans to wed her to Afton's cousin Robert Neville. Igrainia says no, but Eric forces her to marry him anyway. Eric admits that Igrainia tries to help Scot and English alike and begins to fall in with her. She reciprocates after observing how much Eric cares for everyone, but she wonders if his gilded cage is any better than the one Robert would lock her inside.
KNIGHTS TRIUMPHANT, the fourth Graham Family novel, is a well-crafted medieval romance that displays the impact of the Kings on the lives of nobles. Though the squabble between the lead characters feels overdone, the cast provides a deep look at the point when Edward I is nearing death. Fans of Shannon Drake will enjoy this tale and that the three previous will be republished.