- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (4 Jan. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400081548
- ISBN-13: 978-1400081547
- Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,205,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Maid of the White Hands: The Second of the Tristan and Isolde Novels Paperback – 4 Jan 2005
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From the Inside Flap
Isolde's day has come. In Ireland her mother, the Queen, lies dying. The throne of the Emerald Isle, one of the last strongholds of the Goddess, awaits her. But while Ireland is her destiny, Isolde is already Queen of Cornwall, trapped in a loveless marriage to the mean-spirited King Mark. Her true love is his nephew, Tristan of Lyonesse, who has never married, remaining faithful to Isolde.
Across the sea in France, a young princess who shares Isolde's name enters the story. King Hoel named his daughter in honor of Isolde of Ireland, but young Isolde of France has always been determined to outdo Queen Isolde. She, too, is a physician and is called "Blanche Mains," for her white hands and healing touch. Blanche is of an age to be married, and she has chosen her husband--Tristan of Lyonesse. Her father objects, but fate favors Blanche. King Mark has become suspicious of his wife and nephew, and when Tristan is wounded in battle, he sees a chance to separate them for good.
Mark sends Tristan to France to be healed by Blanche, who makes the most of the opportunity. Tristan's letters to Isolde are intercepted, and he is told that she has given him up. Near death from his wounds, Tristan sends one last desperate letter to Isolde by a trusted servant. He is dying, he tells her, and asks for one final sign of their love. If she can forgive him for marrying another, she must come to France in a ship set with white sails. If the ship's sails are black, he will know that she no longer loves him. Isolde immediately leaves for France, but when Blanche sees the white sails from the castle window, she pulls the curtains and tells Tristan that they are black. To her horror, he turns his face tothe wall and dies.
There ends the traditional medieval story of Tristan and Isolde--with betrayal, death, and grief. But the original Irish legend ends differently, and so does this book, with magic and drama as only Rosalind Miles can write it.
About the Author
Rosalind Miles is the author of the bestselling Guenevere trilogy, as well as the Tristan and Isolde trilogy and I, Elizabeth. A well-known and critically acclaimed novelist, essayist, and broadcaster, she lives in England.
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Top Customer Reviews
The characters are gripping and come to life on the pages. There is intrigue, Mystery, Horror, Drama, Romance - all the good stuff that makes a very enthralling read.
I couldn't put this set down.. but if you dont like period dramas, or mystical notions or the above then these books are not for you!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
There's a heroine who fits every stereotype of the "classic heroine": Fair/pale, bright hair, paragon of beauty, symbolizes absolute virtues of goodness which is never justified but supposed to be assumed, is a poor poor princess with men falling over themselves at first sight. Seems to get out of tough scraps by mysteriously whipping out talents introduced as weak plot devices.
You have a seductress who fits every stereotype of slattern possible: Darker featured, sumptuous in dress, powerful man cannot resist her charms, naturally an antagonist of the floppy heroine that does nothing all day but apparently but radiate "goodness" out of her arse as a counterpoint to the evil charms. Seems to do not much more than wear dresses in various shades of green, and fawn all over a king in a lascivious manner.
The dashing knight of the day who fits every stereotype of "heroism": Upright and honest to the point of stupidity, has no sense of self-preservation beyond bravely living off twigs or whatever you'd eat in a forest, thinks of nothing but reunited himself to the Maiden with White Hands. Dude, you are sooo smitten with this chick, but her kind manner and nice hands is ALL you can remember? I guess these two drips deserve each other.
These books make wonderful shelf fillers.