Top positive review
30 people found this helpful
The best romance novel of the Norman Conquest
on 29 July 2002
"Wolf and the Dove is the most delightful and most realistic medieval romance written about the Norman conquest of Britain.
I am very happy that I've read this book first and the other similar books later. None of them compairs to Ms. Woodiwiss's wonderful story of Ayslinn of Darkenwald and Wulfgar, William the Conqueror's best knight.The story is set in times just after the Battle of Hastings. The Normans invaded Britain but the Saxon population haven't accepted their rule yet. Aislinn is the lady of Darkenwald an important Saxon holding. At the beginning she hates Wulfgar the Norman warrior who came to claim Darkenwald and later Aislinn's heart as well. The storyline is very good and fast-paced. Action follows action and the writer keeps you stuck to your book until the end. I love the detailed description of the characters and the historical background. This is what I call historical romance, where history and romance are well balanced. Even if it's not maybe 100% accurate, the readers feel that they are back in those times and not just follow the characters but they are one of them.Each character is wonderfully alive physically and emotionally as well.I don't think that it's boring to know all the details. On the contrary, it makes me feel part of the book. Aislinn is beautiful, intelligent, proud and loyal to her Saxon people. She is fed up with war and killing and she wants her people to live in peace and prosper. She hates Wulfgar, a conqueror knight who took her beloved home but slowly she understands his motives and his peaceful plans for her people. She falls in love not only with the handsome warrior but with the clever and compassionate man as well. Wulfgar is a warrior hardened by war and his stigma of being born a bastard. He wants his own place and he wants to settle down and build a peace beetwen Saxon and Norman. He sees the beautiful and strong woman in Aislinn together with her loyalty to her people and her giving nature as well.The couple is well matched and Ms. Woodiwiss follows their getting to know each other, fights and contradictory emotions until they find their happiness in their mutual love and understanding.
Even the negativ characters are well described and they come alive with all their cruelty and hate. Ragnor, the other Norman knight who hasn't known poverty and who was admired all his life by women and all the nobles in Normandy is Wulfgar's opposite.
He is cruel, bloodthirsty and the only thing he values is power.
So does Gweneth Wulfgar's bitter half-sister who repays his brotherly help and kindness by betraying him to his enemies.
The book is full of the everyday life of the keep, the village and its people. It also describes William the Conqueror and his court. The whole story seems very real to the reader and I must admit I didn't want it to end. I've read the book just a few months ago and I didn't know that it was written years and years ago. I am sure I will read it many times again in the future.I find it with my favourite books that the more I read them the more I like them.
THE WOLF AND THE DOVE is a classic historical romance. You will never forget it and you will read it many times. Ms. Woodiwiss is a wonderful writer and her novel is an excellent and enjoyable read.I highly recommend it to everyone who loves history and romance entwined together in a great novel.