A Sister’s Crusade

Written by Ann Turner
Review by Richard Tearle

Aubrette is raised as a maid to her Lord’s daughter, Rowena, and it turns out that they are sisters. They grow up happily until Rowena is betrothed to Simon Fitzroy, illegitimate son of King Henry II. Aubrette instantly dislikes the man but nevertheless finds herself drawn to him. We can guess where this is going, especially as Rowena constantly miscarries.

Enter handsome, dashing, brave Prince Richard, who abuses Aubrette on their first encounter and then orders her to marry Hugh, his special favourite, in an attempt to hide his and Hugh’s relationship. No bones are made about Richard’s sexuality, and the characterisation of his poor wife, Berengaria, is actually quite superb. All parties are involved in Richard’s obsession to be the saviour (and King) of Jerusalem, but the final scenes take place back in England.

For this novel to receive a high recommendation, though, a number of typographical and a few spacing errors would have to be corrected. The plot is, perhaps, a little too guessable and somewhat intricate in that many babies are born but passed off as someone else’s children. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which is well written and, once started, is difficult to put down. The cover, if a little stereotypical of this genre, is eye catching. Polish those errors and there wold be a good novel here.