Swords of the King (Battle Scars Book 3)

Written by Charlene Newcomb
Review by Viviane Crystal

In 1196 in England, King Richard I, the Lionheart, has his eyes focused in several directions. The first is to watch his brother John carefully, as John had tried to take over the kingdom while Richard was on Crusade and was then imprisoned. John has repented, but Richard cannot trust him again; John is always spying on Richard, waiting for the right moment to reassume control of the kingdom. From another side, his former sister-in-law, Constance, has been kidnapped by her estranged husband. The goal is to capture her son, Duke Arthur. Richard wants to see if Arthur has the stuff to be shaped into a king, and he especially wants to keep him from King Louis of France. Louis knows that if he captures Arthur, he will see former French lands restored. All of this particularly involves two knights, Henry de Grey and Stephan l’Aigle, who are loyal to Richard but are keeping their love secret; they are also loyal to Duke Arthur for all the right reasons, rather than those of jealous kings.

Third in the Battle Scars series, Swords of the King is a novel with plenty of explicit sex and battling with enemies. Every scene contributes to its depiction of the turbulent years of King Richard. Although Richard’s mother, Eleanor (of Aquitaine), had been imprisoned by Henry II for many years, she still wields considerable influence. Loyalty and love forge unbreakable bonds between Henry and Stephan and their service to the King, despite challenges from every corner and a heart-wrenching ending. Swords of the King is well-researched, complex and enjoyable historical fiction!