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A COLD WIND BLOWING by Barbara Willard



Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1973
Publisher: Dutton

Dunnamany dark hints of royal ancestors and bygone mysteries will convince even newcomers to Willard's Forest novels that Piers Medley is someone special, but the tragedy of his marriage to the mute stranger who reveals only her first name will be best appreciated by those with a previous allegiance to the families at Ghylls Hatch and Mantlemass which seem destined to shelter the unwanted offspring of England's political upheavals. The latest wave of Forest fugitives comes from the monasteries dosed by Henry VIII, and Piers' faery queen -- with her closecut locks and skill at needlework -- could be none other than a displaced nun turned out from her cloister, but still subject to arrest for breaking her vow of chastity. Fearful and passive, Isabella seems doomed from the very beginning: But one reads on to catch a glimpse of Master Medley, now settled into middle age after discovering the secret of The Sprig of Broom (KR, 1972), and to wonder about the future of Piers' younger brother Richard who carries his slightly humped back as a hereditary ""badge of honor."" The Medleys and Mallorys add up to more than the sum of their members -- their chronicle becomes a neatly fashioned mixture of parahistory and family gossip.