FALCON AND THE SWORD
Sir Bron, a Knight Templar with his sword arm severed, believes he has been visited by the legendary healer, Lady of Lonegrine, and when he leaves his celibate, noble life, he intends to find her.
Sent by his half-brother to spy on Sir Rufus of Lonegrine, King John's loyal baron, Bron encounters Rufus' falconer, a lad renowned for his skill with the raptors. It isn't long before Bron discovers the falconer is a woman. Ariel is Rufus' serf and though she longs for freedom, she knows it can never be hers, thus her growing love for Bron is only a dream.
Bron vows to help Ariel uncover her heritage and the source of the frightening nightmares that have others calling her "witch." As they get closer to uncovering the truth they are caught by madness, betrayal, murder and incredible revelations that threaten their lives and love.
Filled with a cast brimming with unforgettable characters from Bron and Ariel to the jester dwarf, Kevin, an endearing colony of misfits, to an innocent idiot and an aged priest, FALCON AND THE SWORD is medieval romance at its best. Julie Beard paints a lively and colorful portrait of the 13th century with vivid descriptions, sharp narrative and engrossing, original plot. She is at the top of her form and continues to dazzle with stories that speak to the heart and the mind. SENSUAL (May, 400 pp., $5.99)