The Making of a Man: A Short Story Anthology
Genre: Historical Romance
Passing the Mantle – An ill-fated hunting trip
Forging Friendships – Recruiting able-bodied men ineligible for knighthood
The Sword of Korma Monroe – A sword made for trouble
Turning Point – A duke and an earl plot treason
The Bittersweet Pear – A marital misunderstanding
Isbeth’s Redemption – Dentin doesn’t make a good first impression
A Squire’s Love – Reginald’s quest
Restoration – A trip to Braulyn produces unexpected company
TURNING ANOTHER PAGE GIVES A 4-STAR REVIEW FOR THE MAKING OF A MAN:
She resumed preparing the four meals. The bread was three days old, but not growing anything on it yet. A bit of butter on the sliced and lightly toasted bread hid the staleness. She selected a wine bottle from Tarian’s collection and added it with two goblets to the trays. Spoons, linen napkins and a tablecloth for the table completed the load. She opened the door wide enough for her to carry the trays through. As she turned back to claim the food from the table, Ashfield caught her skirt in his fish. Isbeth looked down to meet his intense gaze. “Be careful. If the cousin sees me, they will kill me.”
This short story collection spans over a range of time, to include a wide variety of characters. These characters all find themselves having similar relationships in common, linking them back to the Earl of Dentin. It is a remarkable feat to have one person characterized throughout most of their life, as they contribute to others’ lives in the same aspect. Rossano has a really great collection, some stories are more entertaining than others, but not any less important on the road to the making of a man. This author captivates her readers with the ongoing string of lives that interweave themselves into what makes the Earl such a wonderful, caring and compassionate leader.
Simon becomes the Earl of Dentin very early in life, after the accidental death of his father by his brother, Nigel’s hand during a hunting outing. After the disappearance of Nigel, Simon’s other brother takes the blame for the accidental death and is executed. Simon vows to find his brother, but after several years, it becomes a waning and impossible task. He decides to become the best leader that he can to the people who he still governs. Several stories are told, involving a kitchen maid, an abandoned widow, the King’s adventure at finding a bride and so on. With so many responsibilities and allegiances, can the Earl of Dentin find his way out of the horrific past to be the man, a leader who is fierce, but also kind? Can he protect those who really need it or will he become like so many other leaders, a corrupt man filled with greed and heartless devotion?
Rossano has a wonderful short story anthology, filled with superb character development and creativity. This author shares so many aspects of life, readers will find one if not many stories that pull at them due to content or morality. While these stories are highly entertaining, there are a lot of grammatical errors which could deter readers from some enjoyment. If you are a reader of historical fiction and fantasy, you may enjoy reading these stories. This is a collection of stories that are part of a much larger series by Rossano called The Rhynan Saga. As a reader, you are able to read this anthology as a standalone without feeling overwhelmed or lost; however, it may be beneficial to read this series beginning with book one.
A copy of this book was provided to Turning Another Page by the Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, but this in no way affects our honest opinion of the book or the review that has been written.
Taking a position in the center of the yard, I began my warm up routine. The stretches, lunges, and blocks developed into a rhythm. My breath condensed into mist as it left my mouth. I relished the warmth spreading through my limbs. My muscles performed the routine with ease while my thoughts organized themselves into the equally familiar pattern of my prayer routine: confession, thanksgiving, and adoration. I was calculating how many times I needed to run around the yard’s perimeter when Alexter announced his arrival by clearing his throat loudly.
“Are you about through?”
“Considering a dozen laps next.”
“Care to spar instead?”
“Not quite the same thing, but I am amenable.” I dropped my stance and turned to where I had left my practice sword. “I was expecting Nigel. Did you see him on your way down?” I kicked up the sword and turned in time to catch the flicker of anger in my older brother’s face before he hid it.
“I doubt he will make it any time soon.”
I inspected my training weapon and glanced past it at Alexter. “What happened?”
“Nothing.” He swung his blunted weapon in a flamboyant whirl over his head before lunging forward to skewer an imaginary opponent. “He lectured me about being respectful to Father.”
“He has a point.”
“Don’t you start your sanctimonious moralizing, Si. You and I know you only say the words that are required to keep the peace and nothing beyond them. You don’t agree with Father any more than I do.”
“But I don’t prod him about his position at every opportunity. It is not the way to go about changing his mind.”
Alexter laughed. The sound was forced and hard. “What? The bumbling idiot who botches every social situation he finds himself in is giving me advice on the persuasive arts. You discussed the defenses of the capital’s palaces with Lady Elaina, the most beautiful and eligible lady in Rhynan.”
“She asked.” My face warmed, but I refused to let my features reflect the accuracy of his blow. Speaking with a woman was far different from persuading Father. One took the skills of small talk and gossip, neither of which I possessed. The other took logic, respect, and patience, which came naturally to me.
“Lady Elaina and Father are nothing alike.”
“True.” Alexter lunged at me. I barely brought up my sword in time to deflect a blow to my ribs that would have left me breathing uneasily for a week at least.
I retaliated with a weak swipe at his leg. He deftly stepped out of reach.
“You are going to have to do better than that. Hasn’t Baron Acklevain taught you to keep your opponent off-guard?” He set to driving me backwards across the yard. By the time we broke apart, I had noted that he still favored speed to skill and enthusiasm to accuracy. Though, his control had improved.
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SAGA:
Novels of Rhynan Book 1 by Rachel Rossano
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Duty to King
Tomas Dyrease, the newly made Earl of Irvaine and the village of Wisenvale, owes his good fortune to his king and the recent civil war. When his benefactor demands Tomas marry the cousin of a noble, he obeys. However, no one warned him that she wasn’t a typical noblewoman.
Duty to Others
Brielle Solarius struggles to keep her village from starvation under the new Lord Wisten, her cousin. The men rode off to war and never returned. The remaining women and children face a dire winter if they do not find a solution soon. When she learns her cousin sold her into marriage to save his life, she isn’t surprised. However, she is taken aback by Lord Irvaine’s unpolished ways. Was this man a noble or a foot soldier?
Duty to Each Other
Bound by the words of their vows, they face a rough future. They must forge a marriage while battling betrayal, accusations of treason, and villains from the past. Survival depends on their precarious trust in each other. Failure could mean death.
Novels of Rhynan Book 2
ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Earl of Dentin excels in his position as Securer of the Realm. But the king’s order to pluck an orphaned child from a loving home unsettles Dentin. When a dark-eyed woman challenges his honor regarding the mission, Dentin finds himself unable to justify his actions or get her out of his mind. Something about her lack of fear intrigues him.
Lady Elsa Reeve attempts to avoid the marriage of convenience her brother and mother demand of her. She understands the need to pay off her brother’s massive debt. She only wants her family to consider her wishes in the process.
As Elsa becomes further entangled in a snare of her brother’s creating, only one man defends her. But can she trust Dentin, her unlikely champion, and his motives? With a murderer on the loose, Elsa’s fate in jeopardy, and a traitor plotting against the king, Dentin finds his priorities shifting in an unexpected direction.
Rachel Rossano specializes in clean romantic fiction set in historical-feeling fantasy worlds. She also dabbles in straightforward historical romance and not-so-strict speculative fiction.
A happily married mother of three small children, she divides her time between mothering, teaching, and writing. She endeavors to enchant, thrill, entertain, and amuse through her work. A constant student, she seeks to improve her skills and loves to hear from readers.