"Different but well done."
In Ancient Britannia, Saxon chieftain Wulfred vows to
destroy every aspect of the hated Romans that he finds on
his beloved island. When he locates a remote Roman villa,
he leads warriors on a destructive assault like none that
the inhabitants have ever seen before. However, Wulfred is
stopped in his tracks when he sees what he believes is the
beautiful abomination that represent the Roman woman, the
intrepid Melania, whose father just died in battle with the
Saxons. She reciprocates his deepest feelings of loathing
except hers target the Saxons.
She considers him a murdering barbarian. while he deems
her an invading scrounger. He makes her his slave, but
quickly wonders who is the master (or mistress) in this
relationship as love blossoms between Wulfred and Melania.
However, neither trusts the other as sleeping with the
enemy goes against their respective value system.
This ancient historical romance between star-crossed
lovers contains an intriguing character twist. The lead
protagonists fall in love and respect the principles of
their beloved, but neither overcomes their bias towards the
other's people. The religious debate between the lead
characters and the prejudicial stereotyping make TO BURN
more realistic than the usual sub-genre novel, but a bit
slower of a plot because the historical authenticity needs
time to develop. Paradoxically, because the plot feels so
genuine, readers will wonder why Wulfred allows Melania to
live. Still Claudia Dain writes an insightful tale that
entertains the reader while enabling fans to taste a past
over two millenniums ago.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted March 25, 2002