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The Maid of the White Hands by Rosalind…

The Maid of the White Hands

by Rosalind Miles

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Again, keeping this just for reference -- alas for my feeling that I've got to be able to put my hands on any Arthuriana I've ever come across. This trilogy is exactly as I'd expect from Rosalind Miles, having read here Guenevere trilogy, and if you don't want to be smothered in purple prose and sick-making attitudes to women, just... avoid. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
Tristan and Isolde are back having spent 10 years as secret lovers. Isolde's mother, the Queen of Ireland is dying and Isolde must return to her homeland to take the crown and be Queen of both Ireland and Cornwall. It will not be as easy as anticipated, enemies of Isolde are gathering who think the Mother Rite is passed and it is time for a man and King to rule.

Meanwhile Tristan is ordered back to the court of his uncle and Isolde's husband, King Mark. On the way though he is held against his will by a powerful necromancer woman who wants his bed service. He struggles to remain loyal to his Lady, but more temptation is to follow. A French Princess whose father loved the Irish Queen is named after Isolde. She prefers to be called Blanche and is known by her subjects as The Maiden of White Hands. She has set her sights on Tristan who she feels is the Knight of her Dreams. Tristan will escape one trap and fall straight into another.

A great follow up to the first book in the series. Tristan and Isolde continue to be interesting characters and the new secondary characters like Blanche were a welcome addition. Although she wasn't the most pleasant of characters, I was glad things worked out well for her in the end. Looking forward to the final installment. ( )
  Rhinoa | Feb 1, 2010 |
After watching "Tristan & Isolde" (2005), I did a small search in my local library for works on the subject to find old, dusty, poor quality works. Disappointed, I walked to my usualy bookstore. Not knowing what I was getting into but coming across this series unexpectedly, I saw the first two in hardback of a series, and made a grab for them before heading to pay. At the time, I remember hoping that I wasn't making a mistake. Oh, I was so happy with them! Too bad the third book took so long to get - I had to special order it 'cause it was out of stock everywhere I went. But don't take that as a reason not to read this book! This series is by far better than many related choices. ( )
  Kerian | Jan 11, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0609609610, Hardcover)

Isolde's day has come. In Ireland, her mother, the Queen, lies dying. The throne of the Emerald Isle, one of the last strongholds of the goddess, awaits her. But while Ireland is her destiny, Isolde is already Queen of Cornwall, trapped in a loveless marriage to its mean-spirited King Mark. Her true love is his nephew, Tristan of Lyonesse, who has never married, remaining faithful only to Isolde.

Across the sea in France, a young princess who shares Isolde's name enters the story. King Hoel named his daughtor in honor of Isolde of Ireland, and young Isolde of France has always been determined to outdo her beautiful namesake. She is a physician, too, and is called "Blanche Mains," for her white hands and healing touch. Blanche is of an age to be married, and she has chosen her husband—Tristan of Lyonesse. Her father objects, but fate favors Blanche. King Mark has become suspicious of his wife and nephew, and when Tristan is wounded in battle, he sees a chance to separate them for good.

Mark sends Tristan to France to be healed by Blanche, who makes the most of the opportunity. Tristan's letters to Isolde are intercepted, and he is told that she has given him up. Near death from his wounds, Tristan sends one last, desparate letter to Isolde by a trusted servant. He is dying, he tells her, and asks for one final sign of their love. If she can forgive him for betraying her, she must come to France in a ship set with white sails. If the ship's sails are black, however, he will know that she no longer loves him. Isolde immediately leaves for France, but when Blanche sees the white-sailed ship from the castle window, she pulls the curtains and tells Tristan that the sails are black. To her horror, he turns his face to the wall and dies.

There ends the traditional medieval story of Tristan and Isolde—with betrayal, death, and grief. But the original Irish lengend ends differently, and so does this book, wth magic and drama as only Rosalind Miles could write it.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:00 -0400)

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