Tuesday, August 4, 2015

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Eleanor and the Iron King by Julie Daines

Eleanor and the Iron King


Eleanor de Lacy has been bartered: her hand in marriage in exchange for a truce with her father’s sworn enemy. Now the headstrong beauty must leave her ancestral home and the man she secretly loves to become the wife of the infamous Welsh King Brach Goch. Tales of this cruel leader paint a chilling picture of a ruthless warrior—all Eleanor knows for certain is that he is the villain responsible for the vicious attacks on her people and the death of her beloved brother. Though she must marry against her will, she vows Brach Goch will never possess her heart.

Her arrival at the inhospitable castle Bryn Du confirms her worst fears—a ghost walks the halls of the castle, and Eleanor receives an ominous warning from the uneasy spirit: Brach is not to be trusted. Though resigned to a life of misery, Eleanor soon realizes all is not as it seems, for Brach is not the monster she dreaded but is a handsome and charming man whose gentle ways soon undermine his bride’s resolve to lock her heart. Clinging desperately to her pride, Eleanor finds herself trapped in a web of murder and deceit. And as the lines between good and evil become blurred, Eleanor must decide for herself who is to be trusted—and loved.


I'll say straight out that I loved this book.  The characters, the setting, the plot, all of it I really enjoyed.  Eleanor presents an interesting combination of spirit and duty as she strives to accept her father's demand that she marry the Welsh king, Brac Goch.  But from the first she is determined to hate him and everything she's been told he's done.  But she slowly starts to realize that what she's been told doesn't really match up with the man he seems to be, but the what she has always accepted as the truth wars with what her own eyes and heart tell her.  Plus, there seems to be some spirit floating around that keeps warning her not to trust Brac.  Who can she trust?  What is the truth?  Eleanor has quite the set of experiences in front of her adjusting to what amounts to a foreign country, language, and environment with seemingly no way out.

The secondary characters were great also, I couldn't help but fall in love with Hawis, Anise, and Lady Margaret, as well as Owain.  The twists and turns were fascinating as Eleanor gradually sorts out the truth from the lies.  A powerful tale about the value of truth and real love, not to mention loyalty and courage. As soon as I started reading the book I felt like I was there watching Eleanor and Brac sort through the challenges standing in their way.  But the book never felt like a copy of the romance story lines that are so common, it felt wholly original and creative and I loved it.


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