Fearless men, their allegiance is to each other, to the oppressed, and to the secret society known as the Brotherhood of the Sword -- and they must never surrender to the passionate yearnings of their noble hearts.Another enjoyable entry in the Brotherhood of the Sword series, this time with the story of The Abbott. A man who provided spiritual comfort to the prisoners during their time of captivity, even though he apparently no longer has any faith of his own (is this even possible??). Like other men of The Brotherhood, Christian believes that it his fate to live alone, wandering from place to place, meeting the needs of other members of the Brotherhood, providing assistance in any way possible, but without giving any real thought to what his own needs are.
Fiercely devoted to her people and her land, Queen Adara refuses to let a power-mad usurper steal her crown. But the only way to protect what is hers is to seek out the man she married in childhood.
A proud, tormented warrior, Christian of Acre owes allegiance only to the mysterious Brotherhood -- and has no wish to be king over anyone but himself. Now a bold and beautiful stranger has appeared in his rooms, tempting him with an irresistible seduction and demanding he accompany her back to their kingdoms ... or, at the very least, provide her with an heir to her throne. Though he cannot abandon the brave regal lady to her enemies, Christian dares not give in to his traitorous body's desires. Yet how can he deny the passion that is rightfully his and the ecstasy that awaits him in Adara's kiss?
Christian is a prince, heir to a throne which has been usurped by a man of exceedingly questionable morals and values...a man who it seems has been trying to kill Christian for quite some time to be rid of the threat of a return to his rightful throne. He believes he was betrothed as a young boy when in actuality he was married, but he has given this matter no further thought to his supposed betrothed, that is until she turns up naked in his room one night advising him that he is her husband, and she offering herself to him either to fulfill that role, or at the very least to impregnate her to provide a legitimate heir to the throne and remove the threat to her own rule by the same man who is ruling Christian's country.
After inadvertently leading his enemies to him, Christian and Adara escape, along with her fool Lutian, and are heading to the sanctuary offered by other members of the Brotherhood, when they are once again attacked. This time they are saved by The Phantom (no not the comic book hero...another member of the Brotherhood) but Christian is injured severely. At first Christian is insistent that he has no desire at all to be either husband or king to Adara, but as time passes and circumstances continue to draw them together, gradually Christian begins to find himself unable to resist Adara's charms.
As a hero, Christian was okay - he was no Sin or Stryder or even Simon, but you did feel his struggle as he tried to work out how to keep both his vows to his Brotherhood but to have a chance at happiness. Adara was a strong but lonely woman, who had the burdens of Queenship in addition to trying to chase her dreams of a happy and fulfilling marriage full of love.
I have to say I admire the ability of the men of the Brotherhood who seem to have an unfailing ability to have sex even when they have been severely wounded. It seems to be some sort of trial that they all have to go through in order to gain some form of happiness!!
Another interesting development in this book is the fact that the countries that Christian and Adara are royalty of are made up countries, moving the action away from Scotland, England and France that have featured in the other books. I am not exactly sure that I like this as a development as it feels a bit like it is moving away from the historical context, but I guess I can live with it!
From the epilogue it appears that The Phantom's book is next, and I do look forward to it! The book I am most looking forward to the most is that of The Scot (who I presume is the missing MacAllister brother from Taming the Scotsman and the other Macallister brother books).
Guess I just have to sit and wait now.