Rating: 5 stars out of 5
In medieval England, duty is everything, personal honor is more valued than life itself, and homosexuality is not tolerated by the church or society.
Sir Christian Brandon was raised in a household where he was hated for his unusual beauty and for his parentage. Being smaller than his six brutish half-brothers, he learned to survive by using his wits and his gift for strategy, earning him the nickname the Crow.
Sir William Corbett, a large and fierce warrior known as the Lion, has pushed his unnatural desires down all his life. He’s determined to live up to his own ideal of a gallant knight. When he takes up a quest to rescue his sister from her abusive lord of a husband, he’s forced to enlist the help of Sir Christian. It’s a partnership that will test every strand of his moral fiber, and, eventually, his understanding of the meaning of duty, honor, and love.
Per Eli Easton herself,”this new edition of The Lion and the Crow from Dreamspinner has about 12K new words added, including new scenes and a new epilogue, plus it’s been fully re-edited.” Having read the original novel when it first came out and loved it, I couldn’t wait to see what this new, revised version sounded like in an audiobook format. What a unmitigated joy this audio turned out to be!
In The Lion and the Crow, Easton sinks her teeth into 1300’s England. It’s a crude and cruel place, where brawn, privilege, and brutality thrive and all else struggle to survive. Especially beauty in youth, no matter the gender. It’s a product and something to be used by others, and a weakness. It’s a mean, savage land of titles, and entrenched nobility and their rules. The poor, the odd, those on the edge are bound to suffer and die.
It’s in this setting, that we have Sirs Christian Brandon and William Corbett. One the youngest son and least regarded in his household because of his beauty, small size, and the fact that his mother was the second wife. Sir William Corbett, who came looking for help for himself and his abused sister from Christian’s father, is the opposite. Huge, a first son and heir, a lion in stature in every way. The characters the author has created in each man is perfect for the time, the personalities, the words and dialog the flows between them that reflects the society and the world around them. Whether or not, you are a fan of historical fiction, you can’t help but be pulled into this story and their lives by her authentic descriptions and vivid scenes.
The romance between Christian and William as it progresses from attraction to deep love on their journey from Christian’s castle to the land where Willian’s sister lives also feels historically accurate as it does believable. William is filled with shame over his feelings towards Christian, how they come to work through the issues in their heads and hearts rings true in every way. It’s sexy, scary, hard, and utterly romantic in a Medieval way. Through the action, the adventure of the journey to save Elaine from her abusive husband in an age where she’s considered his property, the dangers inherent in their weak numbers in an enemies land…it has all the elements of an harrowing and memorable tale.
I have to admit that epilogue had me choking back the tears and then finally just bawling like a baby. Nothing like living a lifetime with these two men that you have come to love deeply and finding it has been lived well and true.
And oh that narrator! Such a richness in his voice, such gravel and depth that the English language and Eli Easton’s story just flows off his tongue with a sort of poetry. Each character has a distinct personality/voice. Scott Richard Ehredt makes each man or woman someone we can believe in and relate to. It’s the first time I have heard him narrator a story but now I will actively seek out more novels read by him because he’s just superb. He took an already excellent story and elevated it further.
If you love to listen to novels, The Lion and the Crow by Eli Easton and Scott Richard Ehredt (Narrator) is one I highly recommend. I recommend it to lovers of historical romance and fiction and to lovers of romance no matter the era. I think its perfection, especially as narrated by Scott Richard Ehredt. Don’t pass this one up.
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning. I love this cover. It’s one of my all time favorites in tone and composition. That’s truly the Lion on the cover.
Narrated by: Scott Richard Ehredt
Length: 5 hrs and 3 mins
Published July 14th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published June 1st 2013)
CharactersSir Christian Brandon, Sir William Corbet settingEngland