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The Briton
The Briton by Cathrine Palmer
by Catherine Palmer

A deeply inspirational medieval romance read with a strong, smart heroine
Set in a Medieval war-torn world with different cultures and religions intersecting and conflicting, The Briton gives a historically accurate image of the medieval world. Lady Bronwen, a pagan Briton marries a Viking for the good of her family. Her father means to forge a political alliance. Although Bronwen must travel from her beloved ancestral land to a strange new home with a different language and religion, she reaches inside herself with inner strength, intelligence and political acumen to negotiate this new terrain and the losses she experiences. As this uneasy alliance comes to light, Bronwen must learn to place her trust in her heart, her intelligence and the knight prepared to defend her. Jacques Le Brun has sworn his fealty to the hated French, those who had conquered her English homeland. Although her enemy according to all earthly ties, Bronwen sees something pure and divine in this man. Can she trust this man and the love developing between them --- a relationship born from love rather than political alliances? Will this love and journey to a new land bring Bronwen to a new faith and a love that passes all human understanding?

Catherine Palmer creates a romance with touches of a saga in style, allowing the reader to feel and experience the medieval world surrounding the romance. By turning her eye to the cultures and religions in conflict at this time, The Briton honors the richness of the medieval world with a meditation on Galatians 3:26-28 developed from a citation in the preface. Catherine Palmer never makes another religion or culture simplistic to bolster the inspirational message but rather, true to her scriptural reference, Bronwen's gradual journey to faith honors both the heroine and the Christian message.

Bronwen, is a woman of intelligence and spirit. She may be a medieval woman in a time different than our own, but she is no doormat! From the very beginning of this romance, she listens to the political talk around her and learns about the world around her. She brings this same gift to her journey of faith. In medieval times, Christianity was often a liberation for women, allowing them more freedom and an intellectual life. Certainly this was not always the case but I applaud Catherine Palmer for bringing attention to intellectual side of medieval Christian women for today's readers. The heroine reaches within, asking questions of God and studying diligently. The search for knowledge is part of the spiritual quest. As an inspirational romance, The Briton speaks deeply to women who want to love in strength and faith.

Catherine Palmer brings the medieval tradition of love into her romance in an intriguing manner that is both original and historically accurate. She integrates the idea of earthly love and and spiritual love written by Medieval clerics (see The Art Of Courtly Love by Andreas Capellanus), bringing historical medieval writing into the hearts of her individual characters. Catherine Palmer also explores the nature of earthly transience in her heroine, a women who has lost everything, and the intransience of the spiritual which transcends the changes of time and fashion. The Briton is not only a romance between a Bronwyn and Jacques Le Brun but also a romance between Bronwen's heart and God. Deeply inspirational!

Publisher: Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical Romance (Feb. 2008)

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
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