In Bed of Rose and Thorns by Lee Hunt, Sir Ezra — one of the most loyal fighters of the Queen, and the same who, eleven years ago, risked his life to protect her, killing the Prince of Erl and his knights — returns to the land he once loved after many years of exile. Rose, the Queen, has exiled him to keep him safe. Having served Lady Kristen for years, she sends Ezra back to the capital as her steward. Returning the capital, Ezra discovers that the Queen’s rule is in tatters, threatened by many enemies. He still finds his friend, Sir Marigold. As Ezra navigates a tense world, struggling to find a stronghold, he has to deal with his obsession for the Queen and his secret powers as an Elysian Bell — one with the ability to communicate his emotions with sounds similar to those of a ringing bell. As threats to his life and the kingdom escalate, he has to confront the ultimate moment when forced to unleash his hidden powers.
This is a wonderfully written fantasy with memorable characters and impeccable world-building. Lee Hunt’s work is hugely imaginative and Sir. Ezra is one of his finest creations, a character with an inner world that is labyrinthine, filled with complex emotions and conflict. Sir. Ezra faces two challenges in his life — taking control of his great powers and dealing with his irresistible attraction for the Queen, Rose. The writing is crisp, littered with vivid descriptions, and Hunt excels at creating focused scenes, presenting an engaging tale that is interspersed with a piercing narrative and spellbinding dramatic episodes. This novel is a delight with believable characters cast in another world and era, a world that feels so real, yet so different from ours. Bed of Rose and Thorns is a winner for fans of medieval fantasy.