Synopsis: Lady Sabine is harbouring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?
Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighbouring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honour, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?
As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?
Bandits almost rob Sabine, and she pretends to be a witch in order to scare them away. The castle is laid under siege and a description of the battle. Hot oil, boiling water and fire is dropped on soldiers. Sabine is imprisoned and ridiculed. A battle occurs and is briefly described. Sabine is taken captive and thrown into water attached to a rock, testing whether she’s a witch or not. Bennet receives a shoulder wound.
Bennet and Sabine are intended to marry so that the debt may be resolved; they gradually fall in love. Both are attracted to the other, and descriptions of said feelings. Talk of whether a character can have children, to which he responds he’s never had the opportunity to discover that, but would do his duty. Several almost kisses and described kisses. Bennet unknowingly leads a young woman on. Talk of reputation and honour.
Mead and ale is drunk. Bennet’s brother drinks to take away his grief.
Bennet’s lands are in debt because of his brother’s gambling, and he tries everything to get it out of debt. He’s a fair and just leader, as seen through several dealings with his subjects.
Characters pray. A mention of God creating us. Sabine is asked to lead them in the Lord’s Prayer; she is then proclaimed not to be a witch but a child of God.
Bennet intentionally deceives Sabine, and later asks forgiveness. Sabine intentionally deceives Bennet, and later asks forgiveness as well.
Sabine is thought to be a witch, because of her blemish. She uses this to her advantage several times but also faces the fear and ‘tests’ it brings.
Overall feel: A story that delves into the subject of true beauty, deceit and forgiveness. Unlike its predecessors, it had little mention of torture or gruesome consequences. It holds a beautiful message, and the characters each have a valuable lesson to learn.