9.5.13

BY KING’S DECREE, by Shari Anton

Young, beautiful Ardith of Lenvil, was betrothed to Gerard of Wilmont, back when she developed a childhood crush on the young knight. Gored by a wild boar (that’s all there were in 12th century England), her not-very-loveable father deemed her unable to bear children (prime female function in those days); the betrothal was terminated. Fast forward a decade, when Gerard (magnificently, imperiously male, undefeated in battle, lord of most of what he surveys) gets a glimpse of Ardith (luscious, albeit a bit wild and countryish) and falls in lust. Gerard orders her to court; she cleans up nicely, almost too nicely for Gerard's comfort. Then the king gets involved: if Ardith becomes…wait a minute. No spoiler. Read the book. It’s a 3; sex at a 2.5. A nice plot, probably realistically portraying the lives and constraints on women, and what inconsiderate brutes men were. Ah, well, some things never change.