Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ultimate Satisfaction...

Well, I've finished it. Karen Tabke's medieval romance, Master of Surrender. Wow, what a great read, and a wonderful reminder of how much I love medievals. It's also a fresh take on that genre. No 'light knights' here, folks. Alpha all the way. Sometimes I was a bit put off by Rohan's handling of Isabel, the heroine, but then he would redeem himself and I'd be in lust...er love...with him once more. Definitely, this series is a pull away from light and fluffy, and dare I say, PC medievals. It's very true to the times, which were dark and turbulant. The men are quite agressive, a bit sexist, but ultimately come to heel by the power of the woman.....as is only right in a romance! lol!

The sexual tension was definitely steaming, and while I wouldn't fully agree that there is a strong parallel between Tabke's knights and Ward's vampires, I will reserve the right to say in future, that it's a definite possibility.

What I really liked is that she's given us a band of brothers--all dark, tortured knights, with teasing glimpses into many of them. With the first book, I can't say any, besides Rohan, really stood out to me (and really, that's the way it should be, it is Rohan's book) but the two who had me wondering, and wishing to learn more, were Wulfson (Wulf) and Warner....I understand Wulson's book is next.

The only nit I have is that there was the occasional use of a modern word that temporarily pulled me out of the story. Was it a major thing? Well, not really. It didn't cause me to want to throw the book at the wall or anything, but it did make me think...'hmm, too modern'. But I kept reading it and enjoying it, so really the point is moot. Besides, I'm not a historical purist in any sense. I prefer to read for the enjoyment of the experience, and Tabke, definitely gave me something to gratify my sexy medieval craving.

So, if you like hot alpha men, traditional dark medievals, and lots of REALLY good sexual tension, than Master of Surrender by Karen Tabke is for you. I've pre-ordered Wulf's story, so you know it's gotta be good......


Kristina Cook said...

Hmmmmm, sounds good! I guess I need to go order it. The modern words might bug me a little...but hopefully a good story will make up for that. And I have no trouble with alpha heroes in medievals--especially if they're knights! Can you imagine a supersensitive, mooning knight? No way.

Besides, I think 'alpha' gets misused so often in discussing romance novels--some people automatically equate 'alpha' with 'cruel and misogynistic.' I personally think a well-drawn alpha hero is neither cruel nor misogynistic. Instead, he's a 'take charge,' competent leader; one who would lay down his life to save the lives of those he loves, or those he is responsible for. You know, Daniel Day Lewis in LAST OF THE MOHICANS ("I will find you....").

However, you have to take history into account when reading historical romance--and a medieval hero just *isn't* going to think of a woman as his 'equal'--let's face it, women were possessions back then, and were generally treated as such. While we expect more from a 'hero,' you can't really expect modern-day sensibilities, either.

It's a fine line, as a writer.

Didn't mean to ramble....just got to thinking.

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Well, it's kind of funny, here I'm nattering away about a modern phrase/word or two, but then trying to 'warn' or soften these men to readers, when really, they are an absolutely authentic drawing of what a medieval knight was probably like.
Women were not equal, and she's clearly not for Rohan, but he begins to admire more than her beauty and breasts throughout the course of the book.
In that, it's a hard line isn't it? Don't have those modern words, but don't have the hero thinking he's above her....
In the immortal words of Captain Jack Sparrow...'it's a funny 'ol world'...lol!

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Amanda, I would agree that you cannot categorize all men, neither now, or in the past, into one of two camps, Alpha, or Beta.

Rohan, I do feel, has very little beta in him. He's a Knight, and really is tortured....He is also not always very caring of the heroine, especially in the beginning of the novel.
I will admit to not having abosolutes in life, or romance reading!! But it's always good for discussion, and please, lurkers, feel free to jump in and opinionate, us lusty ladies are realy very open minded and do encourage discussion that is different from own view points.

I have to go back and find the instances of modern word usage, but the one that I recall most vividly is with the hero, lying in bed, looking up a the canopy of the bed, and musing about how the moonlight 'played weird shadows on the canopy.'
It was the weird that drew me out. I understand the feel/mood the writer was going for, but the weird is just too, well weird. How about errie, unnerving, strange, vexing...whatever, but not weird.
I'll peruse the book for the others.
Again, though, while it pulled it me out, the strength of the well drawn characters, and the chemistry between the h/h pulled me right back in.