Review: A Taste of Copper by Elin Gregory

Your master has the field for today, but his name, whatever it might be, is without honour.

Olivier the squire worships the Black Knight and takes a fierce joy in his prowess as he defends a bridge against all comers. Olivier only wishes that his master loved him as much in return instead of treating him as a servant and occasional plaything.

Then word comes that the King desires to cross the bridge. With an army approaching, a bright eyed archer enticing him to desert and the first cracks beginning to show in the Black Knight's gruff demeanour, Olivier is left wondering if his honour is worth more than a chance for happiness.

Honor, thy name is Maheris the Black. That quality in him that made his character so true to the time period was the same thing that made me want to throttle him repeatedly throughout this story. But, that was what was so good about this book. Maheris has made a vow to defend a bridge against all comers regardless of risk to him or his squire Olivier. His vow is a matter of honor that he absolutely will not waiver on no matter the cost. Olivier has the same sense but as I read I could feel that Olivier also had a greater sense of the bigger picture.

Romance does take a back seat in this one. But, it was so well done I was pretty fine with it. Olivier is SO in love with Maheris and Maheris is SO blinded by his chivalrous code. My heart went out to Olivier repeatedly because GAH! Maheris was such a dick to him. But, honor above all else is the theme and was what made this historical so good. I didn’t feel like I was just reading a historical, I felt completely immersed in the history. It’s very obvious the author did a serious amount of research into the time period to make A Taste of Copper read so organically.

There is the introduction of an additional character, Hywel, the Archer that I LOVED! I hope he gets his own story, I would read the hell out it. He’s charming, witty and brave and he deserves all good things. While things didn’t unfold how he wanted them to in this one as it really wasn’t meant to be, it did leave me with hope for him and his big heart.

The story is full of challenges and jousts and jousts and challenges. They were completely necessary for Maheris to get any kind of enlightenment or release from his vow. So, Olivier has to just suffer and serve while he awaits the outcome of the final challenge. I did like the resolution between the two and to finally see the non-Knight side of Maheris. I would have liked a little more because I really only knew him as a Knight and not a man while I felt like Olivier and Hywel were both fully fleshed out characters. I think that would have given this one bit of balance with the romance as well because while I completely enjoyed the story, I was left a little wanting in that respect.

Major kudos to the author for nailing the time period and making this read so true. Not that I would necessarily know any specific differences as I’m just not that knowledgeable, I enjoyed the flavor of it very much.

***a copy of this story was provided for an honest review***
Find out more about A Taste of Copper over on Goodreads . . .

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