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Date Posted: 15:33:37 05/06/06 Sat
Author: Syl
Subject: The Fool's Tale

This was sent in by Lynne H. Thanks, lass!

TITLE: The Fool's Tale

AUTHOR: Nicole Galland

GENRE: Historical Fiction

The late 12th Century is a dangerous time for the small Welsh kingdom
of Maelienydd. The Mortimer family, just across the English border,
is threatening to overrun the territory and even fellow Welshmen are
encroaching the king's rights.

Maelgwyn, known as Noble, became king when he was nine years old; the
day Roger Mortimer ambushed his father's party in an open field and
killed everyone but Noble and his playmate, Gwirion. While Noble hid
in the underbrush to save his own life, he watched the Mortimers
torture his friend, trying to make the other boy give up the new
king's hiding place. Gwirion was only saved when church bells began
ringing, announcing the birth of Roger Mortimer's new niece, and his
attackers rode off.

Twenty years later, that niece becomes Noble's bride when he attempts
to make peace with his English neighbors. Though Isabel is initially
pleased to find her new husband a handsome, generous lover, his
backwoods court is a far cry from the home she is used to and Noble
is far from faithful to her. Especially displeasing is the way he
lets Gwirion run amok around the castle. As unofficial court
prankster, Gwirion regularly does things like lock up Isabel's
brother in the garderobe for an afternoon and imprint her coat of
arms on a loaf of bread shaped like a woman's buttocks. No matter
what the trick, Noble will not hear of punishing the man who saved
his life and is his only amusement in a life full of dreary royal

Gwirion does not think any more of his new queen then she does him.
She is a threat to his position and his carefree way of life. But
there is more to both Gwirion and Isabel then either sees at first.
Their shared connection with Noble starts them down the road to a
passionate connection with each other and to an ultimate showdown
with their monarch. Noble is already losing ground in political
matters. Seeing the two people he cares about most in the world find
happiness with each other is too much for him to take.

The Fool's Tale is a story rich in characterization. Readers
will find reasons to love and hate each of the main characters as the
story progresses up to its heartbreaking conclusion.
Gwirion's escapades offer plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and there are quite
a few sexy (if not very explicit) bedroom scenes for those who like
their mmmphing. This is one of the best piece of historical fiction
I've read in a while.

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[> I have this book in my TBR pile...looks like it's time to move it closer to the top. Thanks for the review. -- Valerie L., 18:50:18 05/09/06 Tue

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[> Isn't it fun that the twelfth century is so far away from human memory that we can actually imagine a story like this happening! Thank you for the enthusiastic review. -- beccabee, 03:41:33 05/11/06 Thu

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