Today I’m helping to wish debut author Tora Williams a fabulous book birthday! Bound to Her Blood Enemy, a gripping historical fiction set in medieval England and Wales, is published today, and I’m bringing you my review as part of a publication day blitz organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
Norman heiress, Matilda Comyn is desperate to escape her grasping guardian and reclaim her inheritance. After a lifetime of being let down by men, she wants to rule her lands on her own terms. She can’t escape without help and battles her mistrust when compelled to join forces with a Welsh spy.
Huw Ap Goronwy has a rival claim to Matilda’s castle and has sworn a blood oath against the Comyns. When his king rules they must marry, he struggles to reconcile his attraction with his need for revenge. But they must form a truce if they are to seize their castle.
Risking capture and death, they will only succeed if Matilda learns to trust, and Huw allows his love for Matilda to overcome his need for revenge.
Amazon (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07D6FT4HH
Amazon (US): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D6FT4HH
The Wild Rose Press Catalogue: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/paperback-books/5938-bound-to-her-blood-enemy-paperback.html
About the Author
Tora lives in Shropshire in the United Kingdom. On childhood holidays her interest in history was fired by exploring castles in Wales and the Welsh borders, and she would make up stories about characters living there. When she started writing, it seemed only natural to turn to the settings that inspired her as a child. In her free time, when she can drag herself away from reading, she enjoys walking and cycling.
And now for my thoughts…
Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in this publication day event, and for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions are my own.
This book had me at the words “Welsh” and “castle”.
As a Welsh person who grew up just inside the Welsh border, I am very well-versed in the centuries of conflict between the Welsh and the neighbouring English. I remember school trips to some of the old castles in the Welsh Marches, where teachers would tell stories of the Welsh princes and the Marcher Lords – and in Bound to Her Blood Enemy, Tora Williams brought the history to life for me.
The novel’s opening instantly drew me in, with an intriguing introduction to Matilda Comyn, our protagonist, and a mysterious figure who has just made an appearance at the castle gates. From there the story continues at a good pace, with plenty of action, adventure and romance to keep me gripped the whole way through.
One of my favourite aspects of the book was the slow-burning romance between Matilda and Huw. Although the chemistry was there from the beginning, both Matilda and Huw were flawed individuals with demons to conquer and baggage to deal with along the way, so the development of their relationship felt believable and natural.
The real strength of the novel, however, was in Tora Williams’ ability to capture perfectly the tension between the Welsh prince Owain Gwynedd’s people and Matilda Comyn’s Norman family. Matilda, with a Norman father and Welsh mother, finds herself stuck somewhere between the two nations as she struggles to fit in. Her journey to find herself and where she belongs was so relatable, and it really made me feel for Matilda as a character.
Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read. If you love adventurous medieval tales of castles, blood feuds and romance, then you should definitely give this a read!