The Lady and the Minstrel


When she was a child, Marguerite of Winbourne helped the teenaged Robert Marcel escape his master. She never expected to see him again.  But see him again she does, and she falls madly in love with him, despite the fact that she is a lady and he is a mere minstrel. She is appalled when she learns of her arranged marriage to the violent Earl of Saxton and the love-stricken Robert promises to save the damsel and marry her himself. Robert becomes minstrel to the Earl of Gunthar. Gunthar learns to love and respect Robert and elevates Robert from a foot soldier to clerk. Gunthar understands Marguerite’s plight of her unwanted upcoming marriage to Saxton and vows to help her. Robert appreciates Gunthar’s concern, but doesn’t trust anyone enough to let him help this hapless couple.


This is an epic novel of epic proportions. Both Marguerite and Robert are rich characters with lots depth and background. One feels they are very real people in serious situations. Saxton and Gunthar are also fully fleshed-out characters and add much to this piece. Unfortunately, this novel has a very slow beginning which makes it easy to put down. There are lengthy passages within this piece which were bogged down with too much detail, which does little for the story’s progression. The storyline is unique, having two villains acting as foils against the hero and heroine throughout the tale. The solution to Marguerite’s problem is inspiring!  This is truly a gem in the making. 


Belinda Wilson