Book Critique: Never If Not Now (Midsummer Knights #7)

For review of all books in this series: Go here.

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: Madeline takes us back to the medieval era, shows us the way people lived back then, how the rules played and how politics intervened in personal lives. A fun story and easy on all your senses.

Never If Not Now is the seventh book in the Midsummer Knights series, this particular one written by Madeline Hunter and published in July of 2020. This plot revolves around Sir Alexander "Zander" de Mandeville - a knight at the tournament - and Elinor of York - a born lady but living impoverished now.

Midsummer Knights series is written by various authors in historical and medieval romance category. Set in Summer of 1193, the stories revolve around various knights and lords from England, Ireland, Scotland and France who are competing to get a great prize. In the process they find love, uncover treasons, exhibition of warrior skills; and have splendid celebrations along-side. Every story by the authors contributing to the series is set in that one week of the jousting tournament. 

At the tumultuous time when King Richard of England & his brother Prince John, are fighting for the crown of England, the various lords and knights have a tournament. One of the participant is Knight Sir Alexander "Zander" de Mandeville. To the same tournament arrives Sir Hugo of York along with his daughter Elinor. Past relationships surface, forgotten history is prodded; and before anyone realizes, Zander is falling for Elinor while Sir Hugo is challenging Zander in a fight to death.

I haven't read any of the books in the series, but I am told that the books in the series can be read as stand-alone. All the stories are set during that one week of jousting tournament that this plot is set in. I may borrow those from the Library here and read them eventually.

A sweet little novella set in the medieval times where the lead characters battle treason, politics and conspiracies while finding love and romance in the end. Indeed one gets swooned by Zander and charmed by Elinor entirely. A tough decision awaits in their lives that could change their paths in many ways they can only imagine. Very interesting to read which way Madeline makes the tide flow.

One thing I can say the book left me hungry for food. Madeline describes three feasts and food in so much detail, that even if I don’t eat swan or chicken or other kinds of fowl or boar; it made my mouth water just imagining the feasts.

A wonderful story and I was glued to it literally until I finished it in one shot. Madeline took us back to the medieval era, showed us the way people lived back then, how the rules played and how politics intervened in personal lives. A fun story and easy on all your senses.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot Reveals:

a. Lady Judith Tremain is widowed and has sights on younger men.

b. Lords and Knights cooking a conspiracy: Knight Sir Lionel; Knight Sir Gervant.

c. Food, Literature and Media spread across the book:

i. Food - Among the various foods Madeline mentions, Almond Cake, caught my attention. I must try a recipe for that. Honey Cake also intrigued me, may be check a recipe on it too.

2. Sub-Plots:

a. Lords and Knights in the tourney: Lord Yves, the host; Lord Jean Fitzwarryn, Zander's Lord; Lord Marcus, his wife Lady Margaret & fourth and youngest daughter Matilda; Lord Morris of York; Sir Bjorn, a Norse Knight; 

b. Zander's entourage: Angus, his squire; Harold, helping page;

3. Grammatical / Character / Plot / Geographical / Historical / Mythological Errors:

a. On Pg. 6, Line 18, it should be "…stars flew out of…"

b. On Pg. 18, Line 16, the word "cincture" is mis-spelled as "cinture"

c. On Pg. 49, Line 12, shouldn’t it be "…so that you could…"

d. On Pg. 116, Line 4, shouldn’t it be "…would be the sword given…"


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