Lowell's 1993 Untamed just produced in audio is outstanding. Narrator Anne Flosnik is fine. She gives it a big reading darn near Shakespearean proport..Show More »ions and provides excellent voice to a large cast of characters with great enthusiasm.
Feminist to the very core of me, I'm not the least bit embarrassed about how much I love this book. This is the take-me-away fantasy done just right. Warrior Dominic Le Sabre (no phallic symbolism here) storms in on his destrier having been awarded a wealthy estate and a virgin bride for service to the hated English king. There are all the familiar Lowellisms here in spades. Heroine Meg is only 19, a humble and selfless healer, beloved by the estate vassals for her selfless devotion to them. Dominic is a scarred warrior who (of course) doesn't believe she's still virgin and scoffs at the Glendruid legends even in the face of some pretty convincing evidence. He does the pet name thing -- calls her "witch" when he's angry and "small falcon" when he's in the mood for love. His big idea to "tame" her is to use the falcon method -- locking her in her room, securing her in gold jesses, and feeding her only by his hand. And, oh dear, he can't love her, and values her only as vessel to provide him many sons. Trouble is there's a catch -- no Glendruid bride can conceive sons without true love in the lovin'.
The audio production is enthusiastic, over the top, and melodramatic to the max. It's a sweeping medieval epic and a most satisfying love story.
It's been a few years since I read Lowell's medieval trilogy and I must have forgotten how much I disliked this second entry. Problem is Duncan is a..Show More »n anti-hero (well, he's an ass) and Lowell never makes him properly repentant for his cruel treatment of Amber. A good grovel was called for here and the lack of it left me feeling cheated. Amber is one of those born victims (I'm not making this up -- there was a prophesy) who suffers in martyr-like silence. This is a case of two people each with their own set of unattractive personality disorders finding each other and making a go of it. Good luck with that, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.
The narrator does not have the gravitas of Anne Flosnik who brought such fun and enthusiasm to Untamed. Untamed is the better book by far. This one is something of a dirge.
This last in the Medieval trilogy more closely resembles the style of the first book, Untamed, than the second book. Which is good. If you liked the f..Show More »irst book, you'll likely be satisfied with this book. Plus, Simon is one of the main characters, instead of some two-bit secondary character from the first book who we committed ourselves to hate, only to find that we're supposed to like him enough to care what happens to him for an entire book (I speak, of course, of Duncan in Forbidden, the second book.)
Also, that instant, love-at-first-sight, super-duper, uber-sappiness that displays itself in the second book in the form of ridiculous love-talk is mostly absent here; when it does appear, it's appropriately placed.
A note of caution, however: the ending is rather abrupt. Happy, but abrupt. And as this last book in the trilogy was written in, uh, 1994(?), it doesn't look as though there will be any more books in the series. No cliff-hanger endings or anything, but it seems like the epilogue raises more questions than it answers.