The writing talent displayed by the author is wonderful, yet the hero and heroine can be a bit melodramatic, and readers might be frustrated at the lack of true interaction between Blas and Cat. Ms. Bancroft's detail for historical events is phenomenal and this one will appeal to fans of the historical epic.

In order to rescue her father's position as spy master on the Iberian Peninsula, fourteen-year-old Catherine Audley marries a mysterious Englishman, known only as Blas the Bastard. Her new husband is sent off to fight Napoleon's war, still a stranger to her, and throughout the next seven years Cat becomes a beautiful woman with no experience being a wife. War and betrayal come between the two lovers, and Cat is left to build a life out of the shambles of being a sometime bride.

(Aug., dl $3.95, dk $9.95)

Reviewed by: 
April Redmon