Book Review – Fearless by Tamara Leigh

SUMMARY

When the haze of battle settles on the fields of Hastings, Norman warrior Guarin D’Argent does not expect to be the savior of a Saxon woman. But in rescuing her, he risks his own freedom when he is taken captive by her people.

Hawisa Wulfrithsdotter despises the Normans, not only for the atrocities committed against her people but also for the deaths of her husband and son. To her, all Normans are the same, until a certain silver-haired soldier saves her from his own kind.

During his time in captivity, Guarin and Hawisa come to know each other better, learning that a potential ally can hide behind the face of an enemy. However, despite their growing connection, they remain at cross purposes. Hawisa remains part of a rebellion against the Norman King William. She is convinced that the Saxons will once again rule England. Guarin knows better and owes his allegiance to her enemy king. But when betrayal comes from one of her own, will Hawisa be able to trust her enemy savior?

MY THOUGHTS

You guys! Tamara Leigh is one of my go-to author for medieval fiction. I’ve read every one of her novels multiple times and pre-order all of her new releases. She has a way of making this time period come alive in a way that feels both foreign to my modern sensibilities, but also familiar in a relatable way.

Fearless is the second book in her newest series, The Conquest Age, set in the time directly after the Norman conquest of England. I am absolutely loving this series and I really do think it is her best yet. I don’t know how Tamara continues to outdo herself with each new release, but she does.

Guarin D’Argent is one of my favorite book heroes ever. Of course I also thought that about his brother Cyr in book one, Merciless. The D’Argent men are the best kind of warriors, fierce in battle, but gentle, considerate and sacrificial towards women in their personal lives. Guarin in particular has reason to be resentful towards Hawisa, but instead, he makes an effort to see things from her perspective and to forgive great wrongs. He is also a warrior of the heart, battling his own pride, despair and anger towards those who view him as an enemy.

I had already met Hawisa in Merciless and didn’t much like her. But as I came to learn more about her in Fearless I better understood her bitterness, grief and fear. Having already lost so much, she takes on the burden and responsibility of keeping her people safe. Like Guarin, she too, is a warrior, wrestling with her inner conflicts while externally striking out at her enemies. She’s quite a heroine, one who is both fierce but also feminine.

One of the things I loved most about Fearless, is finally learning the origins of the Wulfrith warrior dynasty from Tamara’s Age of Faith series. There were answers to several questions I never thought to ask. Most surprising, is that the original Wulfrith warrior is a woman. How a D’Argent male becomes intertwined with this legacy is even more surprising and very well done by the author.

As much as I’ve always loved Tamara’s series, I really do think this is her best to date. Her heroes and heroines are excellently written, admirable but also human. The history of these stories builds a world that the reader can not only escape to but experience almost as reality. I cannot wait to meet the next D’Argent male in book three, Nameless, which will release this fall. For fans of historical/medieval fiction, Tamara Leigh is the best.

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