Monday, March 26, 2012


The Taste of Champagne I’m offering up this month is more like a magnum. Allison Knight, a veteran Champagne author, wrote the Song Series over the last several years. At this point, I must admit to knowing Allison personally. As President of our RWA Chapter, she worked tirelessly leading our chapter, establishing the new by-laws that RWA national required for all the chapters, and building our membership after Katrina decimated our membership. That said, I own the whole Song series because they are outstanding medieval reads.

The Song books are set along the borders of England ruled by the Marcher Barons – and rule they did. The Marcher Lords were powerful, usually trusted nobles, appointed by the Norman Kings of England to guard the dangerous English borders. Though they swore personal allegiance to the king as feudal subjects, these Norman lords had complete jurisdiction over their subjects, without recourse to the king of England. Marcher lords ruled their lands by their own law sicut regale ("like unto a king"), including building castles and administering laws in their own courts.

Allison knows her medieval history and weaves it into her story to create a rich setting for her vibrant characters. Historically, many of the Marcher lords contracted marriages with the Welsh nobility but there was always the potential for conflict. Part of the conflict stemmed from the role of women in Celtic culture of Wales as opposed to Anglo-Norman society. Unlike the Anglo-Norman women who were regarded as chattel, Celtic women historically could own property, hold important positions of power, and exercise a measure of personal freedom unheard of in Anglo-Norman society.

In Heartsong, Rhianna is captured by the English Baron deShay, who must conquer his attraction to the Welsh princess who would make a valuable hostage for King Edward to use – that is, if he can bring himself to surrender her. In Battlesong, when English baron Arthur ap Brynn Ffrydd is tricked into wedding young Laren Blair, the daughter of a Scottish laird, he abandons her at his keep only to return years later to discover he’s very attracted to the woman she has become. In Windsong, Milisent Mortimer is about to be married to a powerful lord known for his cruelty when she is kidnapped for revenge by Alwyn ab Brynn Ffrydd who believes she is his enemy’s mistress rather than his sister. How delicious! Happy reading until next month when our Taste of Champagne will come from the hot reads at Carnal Passions. Rita Bay


Heartsong Buy Link:

Battlesong Buy Link:

Windsong Buy Link:


  1. You're making a believer out of me. Although I'm new to the details of Welsh hisory, you're bringing it alive -- beautifully and graphically

  2. These are fantastic books and I'm so glad we have them. Can't wait to read the next one! (winks)


  3. Anything from Allison Knight makes us grin! Adore her books.

  4. Your books sound so good! I can't wait to read Battlesong this weekend!

  5. Though I have Allison's books on my far too large TBR pile, from her posts, discussions, and blurbs, I can't wait to delve into that period of Welsh history through her stories. In the words of some of my Welsh friends, "Mae'n Edward buodd mochyn mochaidd" = Edward was a filthy pig.

    Thanks for a delicious preview of my summer reading!