For review of all books in this series: Go here
Stars: 3 / 5
Recommendation: If you are into period setting novels with romance and mystery along-side, books by Madeline Hunter are ones to be tried for sure.
The Protector is the fourth book in the Medievals series by Madeline Hunter published in June of 2001, however for the chronological reading order this would be fifth in the series. The plot revolves around Morvan Fitzwaryn – English Knight wanting to get his estate at Harclow - and Ann de Leon – who has nothing to do with knights and husband or lovers.
We meet Morvan Fitzwaryn first time in By Arrangement, the first book in this series, as brother to Lady Christiana Fitzwaryn who is now married to David de Abyndon – heir to Comte de Senlis in France as well as a common merchant in England. And this particular plot is set three years after the plot of By Arrangement. However if we consider the historical significance, it is in 1348 right around the time the Civil War waged in Brittany and the plague called Black Death began emerging in Europe that claimed several thousands of lives but still during the times of King Edward the III and Queen Philippa
Morvan Fitzwaryn walks into Brittany along with his men and a very ill squire who had been hit with Black Death. Anna de Leon takes in Morvan and his men and treats them back to health. After getting her family estate settled with the help of the young Duke Jean and King Edward, Anna had all intentions set to join the abbey Saint Meen. But the intense connection that she finds with Morvan interferes with her saintly path. And Morvan takes every advantage he gets to keep her with him, even if he resorts to take her to bed. Will the spirited Anna bend to Morvan's passionate advances and change her path? Will Morvan be her Lord in everywhere despite her aversion to having someone lord over her? As they find their destiny, they are faced with troubles from King Edward and from the past that follows them. How does this journey end for them is what the rest of the plot is about.
Madeline provides a brief history of Brittany, a French province now, and the struggles it went through in the middle of 14th century. That brief history helped me as a reader to tie into the plot rather than googling for the historical incidents around the time the plot was set in.
The romance element between Morvan and Anna is eloquently shown by Madeline but she inserts a kind of love triangle, two actually and it is amazing that she shows Anna completely oblivious to that. It was eye-opener to me as a reader too to see how she realizes eventually the power she has. I related to that part a lot since I know how it feels when one is always put in a place for their appearance. For that reason I loved the character Anna but it irked when she constantly misunderstood Morvan or took her freedom a bit more serious than her relationship with Morvan. Perhaps the times warranted that I don’t know.
And Morvan could have been a bit more explicit with his words and feeling too. Well, men are men anyway. It was a pleasure to see David and Christiana too in the plot with actual role rather than fleeting mentioning.
Again Madeline brings in the political unrest in England and France into her fictional plot making it more real for the reader. Another successful historical romantic mystery by Madeline. Now that I have read three I am hunting for the remaining books in the series to see how this will end.
1) Wonder if any of the characters in this book will become the focus of Madeline Hunter’s books in future or at least resurface.
2) I was hoping that Morvan would get a closure on getting back his estate at Harclow. But it doesn’t happen in this plot. Wonder if any future book covers that part of the plot for the Fitzwaryns.