Monday 19 October 2020

Book Review ~ His Castilian Hawk by Anna Belfrage


Published 2020

My thanks to the author for my copy of this book

For bastard-born Robert FitzStephan, being given Eleanor d’Outremer in marriage is an honour. For Eleanor, this forced wedding is anything but a fairy tale.

Robert FitzStephan has served Edward Longshanks loyally since the age of twelve. Now he is riding with his king to once and for all bring Wales under English control.

Eleanor d’Outremer—Noor to family—lost her Castilian mother as a child and is left entirely alone when her father and brother are killed. When ordered to wed the unknown Robert FitzStephan, she has no choice but to comply.

Two strangers in a marriage bed is not easy. Things are further complicated by Noor’s blood-ties to the Welsh princes and by covetous Edith who has warmed Robert’s bed for years.

Robert’s new wife may be young and innocent, but he is soon to discover that not only is she spirited and proud, she is also brave. Because when Wales lies gasping and Edward I exacts terrible justice on the last prince and his children, Noor is determined to save at least one member of the House of Aberffraw from the English king.

Will years of ingrained service have Robert standing with his king or will he follow his heart and protect his wife, his beautiful and fierce Castilian hawk?

What did I think about it...

Robert Fitzstephan is rewarded for his loyalty to his King when he is given the plentiful lands that surround Orton Manor, but it's not just the manor he receives, Robert also gets to marry the manor's custodian, the beautiful, Eleanor d'Outremer. However, the relationship is difficult from the beginning, as not only does Robert have to come to terms with an arranged marriage to a teenager he didn't need, or plan for, but he must also try to keep his temperament mistress under control.

What then follows is a lively medieval adventure which takes us from the border lands of Wales, to the sumptuous, and often brutal, court of King Edward I. The thirteenth century world comes gloriously alive as all the difficulties of a King at odds with his  people comes sharply into focus. The ferocity of Edward I's campaign against the Welsh is well documented as is the King's quest to eradicate all evidence of Welsh ancestry. 

In this authentically portrayed story, the plight of the Welsh is described in a forceful and realistic way which doesn't shy away from describing the brutality of a medieval war. However, His Castilian Hawk is not all about war, politics and power, there's also a sparkling love story at its heart, which has its fair share of delicious passion, insane jealousy and deep seated resentment. 

The story has everything I have come to expect - thwarted romance, passionate response, and more than enough medieval politics to keep me enthralled and totally involved in a medieval world of danger and intrigue, a world which this clever storyteller recreates so beautifully.

Beautifully written and impeccably researched, His Castilian Hawk is the start of a passionate medieval adventure which has all the trademarks of this talented author's love for the medieval world. The story is set to continue with The Castilian Pomegranate in 2021 - I can't wait to find out more about Robert and Eleanor's passionate adventures.😊

About the Author

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England. 

More recently, Anna has published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. While she loved stepping out of her comfort zone (and will likely do so again ) she is delighted to be back in medieval times in her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love.

Twitter @abelfrageauthor


  1. Oooooooo! This was a perfect start to my week! So glad you enjoyed it / and thank you for a lovely review


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