She was trained at St. Jude's Abbey in the knightly arts - but her heart had no such defenses.
In twelfth-century England, St. Jude's Abbey is no ordinary sanctuary of prayer and ritual. Established by Eleanor of Aquitaine, it trains young women in the knightly arts, as well as martial arts from the East. In times of trouble, these formidable women are called upon to protect the royal family and England. Elspeth Braybrooke is one such woman.
At the behest of the Queen, flame-haired Elspeth leaves St. Jude's Abbey for Wales in search of a cursed rock - the Llech-lafar or "Speaking Stone." For a prophecy warns that if the King should step upon it, he will die.
While riding along the coast, Tarran ap Llyr - bastard grandson of Princess Nest — comes upon a strange sight: a red-haired beauty hanging from a castle's arrow slit. But Tarran is shocked to discover that Elspeth is trying to get into the castle rather than falling out of it.
Elspeth recognizes in Tarran a kindred spirit. He, like her, is a well-trained warrior — though where she is free-spirited, he is stern and guards his secrets closely. And Elspeth knows that on this quest, any Welshman is not to be trusted — especially one whose very touch blinds her to every other thought.
Yeah, this book was fantastic! I loved the first book, and I'd only read the first book because I'd had a copy of this one! So that this book was really good, that made it all the more worthwhile, because it was the reason why I started reading this series!
So we're back with another mission from the queen, and another couple! I really enjoyed Elspeth and Tarran, she with a mission, him with a quest to hunt down his wife's killer. And when it turns out that they were going in the same direction, well, more time for sparks to fly!
The whole thing with the speaking stone was very interesting. I'm pretty sure that it's a real legend, and the idea that the King would be the one in the prophecy, yeah, history would've changed if he'd died then!
The ending was pretty intense! I loved how everything tied together, that both of their missions ended up being solved pretty close together, it worked out very well for them! Which was just really fantastic to read!
This book was really fantastic, and I can't wait to read more!
Author: Jocelyn Kelley
Series: Ladies of St. Jude's Abbey #2
Read: September 1st, 2018
Reason Why: Enjoyed the first book, and it's a Historical Fiction 2018 Book and a Prequel & Sequel Challenge 2018 Book!
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Published: October 4th 2005