Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Burning Candle: A Midieval Novel by Lisa J. Yarde

The intensity of The Tudors TV show is how I would compare The Burning Candle. Lisa J. Yarde writes a captivating historical novel about Isabel, the Comtesse de Meulan. The era is 11th century France and Isabel is eleven years old; prime age to marry in medieval times.

As women are betrothed soon after birth, they have no choice regarding the men they wed. Isabel marries Robert de Beaumont, Comte de Meulan, who is about forty years older than she is. Robert makes promises not be cruel, like Isabel’s parents were throughout her eleven years, but he ends up being crueler emotionally and physically than her parents ever were.

Robert moves Isabel to live at King Henry’s court. It is here that Robert reveals his true colors. During this time, Isabel falls in love, only in her heart, with William de Warenne, Earl of Surrey.

While reading The Burning Candle I felt like I was living back in medieval times.  The dynamic characters evolve around Isabel and they evoke the love/hate feelings of a great story. Isabel struggles with what is right from wrong, as she deals with a hidden love for William while being married to Robert, abandoning her children, keeping secrets until no longer possible and pure angst in her life.

The best compliment I can give Lisa J. Yarde is that due to her outstanding research, I was able to experience everyday life during the medieval era, while learning about Isabel the Comtesse de Meulan. She was a strong woman for her times who endured more adversity than any woman ever should.

The Burning Candle by Lisa J. Varde is a fascinating story, with its numerous unpredictable turns - some violent, and some pleasant. It is written so well it was difficult to put down. I always enjoy learning about a historical person by reading a well-researched historical novel. 

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