Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
The Wisdom and Valor Treasury by Aleksandra Layland is a superb compilation of love stories and fantasy. Set in the medieval Kingdom of Kimbria, the story begins with the arranged marriage of Queen Keridwen and a mercenary warrior called Leofric. They have been chosen by the Royal Council to reign over the people. However, the Council, led by the ruthless Lord Gethin, has no intention of allowing them the freedom to rule. They have always enjoyed great wealth through the exploitation of the people, and they will ensure the status quo remains. Leofric begins to fall in love with his new bride and must decide whether his loyalty is to her or the Council. A gripping personal battle begins where Leofric must make a life-changing decision. Will he choose a future with Keridwen and the well being of the people or the life he has always known, one of terror, violence, and treachery? Included in this edition are three related novellas: Bind Not the Heart, Leofric of Longridge, and the beginning of Swords of Ansgar.
If you enjoy a story that has twists, turns, and intrigue throughout, then The Wisdom and Valor Treasury by Aleksandra Layland is the perfect book for you. The author is a master of creating a rich tapestry of characters who are very realistic and memorable. There is such detail woven into the story line and, from the outset, the book drew me into the medieval world of Keridwen and Leofric. The tension and suspense were terrific as we see Leofric face his inner battle. Lord Gethin was an absolutely vile creature and made my spine tingle. I have not read any other books in the series, but I don't think this was essential, as I could easily pick up the story. However, I will be reading the other tales in this saga. A superb book from start to finish and one that will touch every one of your senses. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to be transported into a medieval world of love, loyalty, and fantasy.