This is an Official Review by an Eye On Romance Official Reviewer
for Lord of Midnight
Date of Review: 05/17/03
Renald de Claire is a shadow of the character first introduced in the prequel to LORD OF MIDNIGHT, entitled DARK CHAMPION.
LORD OF MIDNIGHT tells the tale of Renald arriving at Summerbourne with the body of Clarence Summerbourne, traitor to the throne. He has been sent there by the King’s order to marry one of the three maidens at Summerbourne and to deliver the body of the man he killed. Claire Summerbourne and her two aunts are the marital choices, however the two aunts flee to the convent leaving Claire to take on the responsibility.
The entire premise to the story is dismal and the fact this man has killed the family’s patriarch is disturbing, not to mention that one of them must marry him. Claire Summerbourne, being the obvious choice to become the intended bride does not talk much with Renald, her intended, until midway through the story. Though we are lead to believe she is falling in love, there is very little chemistry between them.
Renald, who was a light and impulsive character when we first meet him in DARK CHAMPION, is a ghost of that man in this story. Not portrayed when we first meet him as a serious warrior, he is every bit that in this story. Understandably he has just killed a man and now must marry his daughter. This could potentially explain his change in attitude though the change is not fully embraced nor the story believable. Bastard FitzRoger, who he played 2nd to in that story, clearly out shadows him and it is hard to understand the change to the enchanting Renald in DARK CHAMPION.
Sparks begin to fly eventually and Jo Beverley is a consistently good storyteller making the read worthwhile but not with the heavy punches of her two earlier medievals.