Big and burly, with a crown of vibrant red hair, as the son of the chief of Clan Munro, Jamison's path in life was more unconventional than those of his clansmen. Fostered in England and France, Jamison learned the ways of his adversaries before returning home to take his place at his father's side. But his father is a progressive thinker, knowing that in order to survive, his clan must become allies with the English. He knows that isolation will only bring destruction to his clan. Willem Munro has traveled the world, much like his son, and has made friends along the way. When his English friends to the south call upon him to help in their battle with the Welsh, Willem sends his only son.
Now, Jamison finds himself living with the English again as they do battle against the Welsh. Although highly trained in English tactics, and having many English friends, he cannot give himself over 100% to their ways. He sympathizes with the Welsh even as he plans battles against them. Outwardly supporting the English, he is nonetheless torn.
When the call goes out to defend Four Crosses Castle against a Welsh attack, Jamison rides to the siege and finds himself caught up in a nasty battle. With the gatehouse breached, he charges in to defend the occupants only to be attacked by one occupant in particular. What he first believes to be a small and slender knight, he soon finds out to be someone else. He is met with ferocity by a skilled lady warrior.
Lady Havilland de Llion is the daughter of the lord of Four Crosses Castle. Part-Welsh, her family is nonetheless loyal to the English and to de Lohr. When she sees the big Scotsman, she assumes he is siding with the Welsh and goes after him with a vengeance. Even upon discovering his loyalties, she doesn't believe him and their fight goes on long after the battle itself is finished. But soon enough, the contention between them turns to something else.
Politics, battles, loyalties, and roaring passions play out in a story of high emotion and high adventure. To the big Scots knight known as The Red Lion, nearly everything in his life has come at a price, but in the battle for Havilland's affections, there is no price that he will not pay.
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The Red Lion 🐱
Just Terrific ......but a rushed, weak ending.
The characters of Lady Havilland and Jamison are very well drawn. I enjoyed spending time with them. The story is very strong as is the narration. Brad Wills is excellent at creating distinctive and appropriate voices for each character.OK...
Semi-Spoiler alert...My one problem with the book is the end. In the last big assault on Four Crosses Castle, Havilland is dragged from the castle and Jamison saves her. Then....they then have a loooong heart to heart talk about what they mean to each other and their future. Full of very sweet sentiment but ...For Gosh Sakes....behind them somewhere, the castle is under siege and people are dying. It was as though since they were safe they didn't care who was fighting and dying and we never find out what happened to the Castle.
One thing I like about Kathryn Le Veque's books is that she does not inject modern values into her Middle Ages characters. However, in this book, the last chapter does just this; the "enemy" clan chief decides to go all Cum-bah-ya and lay down his arms without any concessions at all from Jamison. I expected his warriors to start swaying, light cigarette lighters and break into John Lennon's "Imagine". It felt like the end was very rushed and the author was anxious to move on to the next book in the series and it was time to wrap everything up quickly.
All this said, but for this, the book is very well researched and written; the characters very likeable and interesting. I enjoyed it very much.