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Tapestry of Dreams by Roberta Gellis
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's review
Jul 29, 2011

really liked it
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I really enjoyed this book and I don't know if I can explain why while doing justice to the book but here's my honest attempt.

Audris is the heiress of Jernaeve. Her uncle runs the keep for her and in her 23 years, she's never met a man who's tempted her towards marriage. She knows that her marriage might not be a good thing for her uncle and his family. Her husband would take over the running of Jernaeve and then what would her uncle do? So Audris has been very happy with the way things are, it gives her time to weave her tapestries, train her falcons and work on her herb garden. Her aunt takes care of the day to day stuff within the keep, and the whole system works for those involved.

Hugh Licorne is the squire of Sir Walter Espec, a landowner and lord. Hugh was raised in Walter's household but Hugh is an orphan. He doesn't know his family name, for all he knows, he's a bastard - and this is something he truly believes. Hugh is a strong fighter, very loyal to those he loves but that also puts him at odds with Sir Walter's heirs.

Hugh and Audris meet when the king comes to visit Jernaeve and tries to marry her off to one of his followers he wishes to reward. Audris quickly finds a protector in Hugh - a man who sees her for who she really is, not as a rich heiress. Hugh can see how far above himself Audris is, so although he desires her, he knows he can never have her. But the very things Hugh sees in her, she sees in him and she wants him. She doesn't see him as a nobody.

And although Audris wants Hugh, the reason why she can't have him still exist. She could not take Jernaeve away from her uncle. And Hugh cannot get over his lack of a background, he believes he doesn't deserve Audris, so he will use any opportunity he can to further himself politically and financially.

Besides Hugh and Audris, there's a whole smattering of characters that enter into this tale. And then there are the politics. These were some crazy politics! The King was constantly facing invasion from Scotland and an uprising from the various Barons who opposed him. This (the 1100s) was a very dangerous time in Northern England and Hugh and Audris are caught right up in the middle of it.

I really enjoyed Tapestry of Dreams. Hugh and Audris are well written characters and we get to know them really well. Their emotions, their motivations. And it's great that these two become friends before they become lovers - there are very believable reasons to their not being able to be together right away. And the political environment is very engaging. This book was long but never boring. I found the non-regency time period so refreshing and I definitely need to read more medieval romances. There were no balls, no fripperies and indeed, everyday was a fight for survival. I ate it up.

I can't wait to see what else gets reprinted by this author. 4 out of 5.

This review was originally posted on Book Binge by Ames.
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