It's pretty rare for me to not finish a book. I got about 40% done with this before I decided it was no longer worth my time because of lack of interest.
Basically, we have Lenora (the female lead), and she is engaged to a horrible German Prinz named Kurt. Her parents left her at his home before the two are married (that alone is pretty weird to me). Once they leave he starts showing his true colors and abuses her like crazy.
After a public flogging, Lenora begins to heal and then plans her escape. Once she is well enough and has gathered supplies, she makes her break. After being on the road for a few days, she gets picked up by some revolutionary soldiers. When she meets their leader, she realizes she had met him once before and he aided in her escape from Kurt by gifting her a dagger to protect herself.
At this point I was still into this story. Sadly, the feelings turn sour because we meet our hero Wolfram. And my goodness did this man drive me nuts. Like listening to nails on a chalkboard kind of nuts. The man claims love at first sight with Lenora, and acts like a besotted fool. He then forces her to marry him, and commits rape to consummate the marriage. He seems to justify this behavior as being her best option for survival from her cruel fiance, and by trying to make her enjoy the consummation. She very clearly says no, repeatedly.
Regardless of Lenora's limited options, the fact that he does all of this despite having her consent is just disgusting. And this man is supposed to be our hero??? Lenora just came out of an abusive relationship from her evil fiance, and Wolfram doesn't realize the damage to her soul from having another man take away her will? She has no control over her life and that kills me for her.
I read a bit past that point, but then decided I was no longer interested in reading how a wonderful female character I really liked, would most likely end up in love with a man who did this to her. It makes me so very sad.
Like I mentioned, I really liked Lenora's character. She was very strong willed and smart. She was selfless. She was pretty badass with a sword and throwing knives. Considering the hell she went through with Kurt, she was managing extremely well. She got herself out. She was definitely no typical damsel in distress.
Wolfram on the other hand was not her fit. He was too much the lovesick puppy. He was described to be very large multiple times. From this and many of the things he said, I pictured him to be like Fezzik from The Princess Bride movie. However, not cute and funny like the awesome Fezzik. Just the visual and speech. For example, he says, "It must be this way, lady." Wolfram did show me one thing. That is I like my heros to be a little more tormented about their love. I am very much not into the "instantly in love" emotion.
As you can tell, I did not enjoy this book at all. I 99.9% sure I will not try any others from Catherine LaRoche.