For a medieval story about betrayal, its a rather lighthearted tale. Probably because it has quite a few intelligent and genuinely goodhearted people, though it has its share of Medieval Morons also. The characters and dialogue are probably why I've read it so many times, but also the fact that Bradshaw is a wizard storyteller, a master bard of the written word. She is simply one of the best storytellers I've come across. She may not be as eloquent as Michelle West or as complex as Diana Wynne Jones, and her stories may be predictable but she makes the pages fly by and I forget that I'm even reading a book. Someone who can transport you so completely into another time and place is just genius. I'm sure it isn't just that I really enjoy the story, but the way she tells it; detailed but flowing, shifting in omniprescence with ease from character to character. I've read it possibly more than 10 times by now and each time I get caught up in Marie's surprise, Elise's hysteria and Tiher's banter. I know its all coming, I've sympathized before but its as vivid as the first time I read it. I also like that while it is a love story at its core, there's no mush or fluff. When anyone pours their heart out or declares their love its not a thing to roll your eyes at (except when she wants you to ). She's almost spartan in her lover's description, but enough to satisfy any romantic, as the final sentence in the book should prove. Its refreshing to see, for once, a female author who does not go overboard with lover's sentiments.