When I was growing up, before the new library was built, the first floor was for grown up books and the 4th was for children's books (the second and third floors, only accessible from the inside of the 1st floor were adult nonfiction). Anway, one of my first forays into the world of "the grown up book section" was reading THE WILD HUNT by Elizabeth Chadwick. I had just seen FIRST KNIGHT starring Richard Gere and Sean Connery (don't hate, but I loved it and still do), read the tie-in book and saw that Ms. Chadwick had written it. I wanted to read more by her and found THE WILD HUNT.
THE WILD HUNT is set in 1100's England on the border of England and Wales (called the Marches) and is the reason I love historical fiction, romance books and medieval history. It wasn't bodice ripping romance, which I appreciated (and still do). And now thinking about it, the main character, Judith, is 16. So it's a YA, too.
After reading this one just back to back to back (I'd totally check it out, return it and then check it out again), the library finally picked up the sequel and the kind of prequel (or at least another book by the same author). But, this one was always my go to book.
|Can I just say, this is the cover I remember. The one featured on Amazon is pretty bodice ripping if I say so myself.|
From Publishers Weekly (via Amazon): Winner of the 1990 Betty Trask Award, this engaging historical romance takes place on the feudal domains of Norman lords occupying Wales during the reign of king William Rufus. A marriage of political expediency unites 15-year-old Lady Judith of Ravenstow and Guy FitzMiles, lord of Ledworth. Judith has been traumatized by a brutal father and is terrified of men. Guyon, a decade older, is a handsome and powerful Norman nobleman, well versed in the arts of love and of war. A compassionate man, he is so moved by the terror of his child bride that he refrains from sex on their wedding night. The novel follows parallel lines: the personal history of Judith and Guyon, and the history of 12th-century feudal England. Along with Guyon's tender wooing of Judith, her coming-of-age and the final consummation of their marriage, there are border skirmishes, Welsh raids, full-scale battles, murderous schemes and dreams of power. The daily life of the occupied Welsh and the occupying Normans is described in extensive detail. Chadwick's first novel is typical of the genre, with many dark deeds afoot and many dark secrets to be unveiled before Judith and Guyon, now passionate lovers, triumph over their evil enemies.