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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Denisa, The Castellan's Daughter is a fantasy romance novella written by Ronnda Eileen Henry. Sir Denis was disturbed to hear that Karsten was planning on going to sea. The young man was like a son to him, and he had watched Karsten grow and become a scribe under the tutelage of the monks in the monastery where he was schooled. Karsten was unwelcome in Corby, however, as he was still blamed for what his father had been accused of, even ten years after his father had died. But what else was a penniless young man to do? Both Sir Denis and Karsten’s grandmother were dead set against him working on a ship. Sir Denis had another idea. While his daughter was still a child, he suggested a betrothal between Karsten and Denisa. Sir Denis would provide him with the funds to make a living for himself in Holswick, and in ten years time Karsten could return those funds and take Denisa as his wife, if they both so chose. Karsten never did arrive in Holswick as far as his grandmother and Sir Denis could ascertain. He had simply vanished, leaving everyone who cared about him, especially his betrothed, wondering about his fate.
Ronnda Eileen Henry’s fantasy novella, Denisa: The Castellan's Daughter, is a well-written and enthralling tale set in the fictional world of Penruddock. While much of the focus in this story is on Karsten and his life after leaving Corby, the real hero is Denisa, who combines grace, intelligence and ingenuity as she grows up. Henry tackles real world issues in her Penruddock series, where her strong heroines flourish in spite of the cultural barriers they face, and Denisa is no exception. I was especially impressed with the battle scenes in this book and the roles Denisa and her fellow archers play in the defense of the realm. She also tackles the inhumanity of slavery, a blight still sadly present in our own world, in this thinking person’s romance fantasy. Denisa, The Castellan's Daughter: A Romance Novella is most highly recommended.