The Bastard of Brittany (The Wolves of Brittany #3)


Gwened is excited to finally wed her warrior Hugo, but when her brother Rudalt comes back from a hunting trip, he informs Gwened that Vikings have killed Hugo. Gwened’s grief consumes her. But, her grief is quickly replaced by shock as she learns her parents have betrothed her to Hugo’s younger, malformed brother Mateudoi. Gwened tries to live a reasonably good life with Mateudoi despite him not wanting children. When the Vikings come back and take Gwened’s brother’s castle, Gwened travels there, determined to find out what happened to her brother. Instead, Gwened finds the Norseman, Bjorn,  who takes Gwened captive. As Gwened learns more about Bjorn, however, she discovers a much more honorable man than she expected. Both fight the attraction that is slowly developing between them. Nothing can change their circumstances or the fact that she is married... or can it?

This wonderfully intricate story depicts early European history nicely. Readers will be able to visualize the time perfectly — how people lived and the difficulties they faced, especially when a group of people want to conquer. Gwened is a resilient, strong heroine and manages to get along with her husband even though he can’t stand her. Readers will like her even though she makes life-altering mistakes. Bjorn manages to be a decent noble hero even though he is holding Gwened captive. There are several loose ends in the storyline and with characters, though, that never are resolved or explained. The book also ends anticlimactically and abruptly with little real explanation or depth in understanding, which is very frustrating for the reader.  Still, even with the bumps, this story has enough intriguing points to keep the reader engaged throughout.

Roslynn Ernst