This is a well written romantic novel, rather let down by a poor final edit. The infrequent typos jarred particularly deeply because Patzer's writing is so very good. I can't help but think that the author was badly supported by her editor(s) and meddlers.
From early on in this read I was rooting for the 'nice' characters, and was relieved when romance eventually got the upper hand, though I have to say I was rather disappointed at how easily the black witch was finally overwhelmed. Perhaps, a bit more on the moral conflict within her would have made capitulation easier to accept. Someone so black should not have turned to a light tone of grey so easily.
All the principle characters were well rounded and played an interesting dance, but I do rather question the authenticity of the historical background. The historical elements were too few and there details too often repeated, rather than explored, to give me any real confidence in the author's historical research. I enjoyed the book best when I was able to categorize it as a fairy-tale, as a morality tale, rather than as an historical fiction. Patzer is very strong on the psychological elements of character, and weaves them together with a great deal of skill.
Once I was into the book I found it to be a compulsive read, indicative enough of the plots qualities. Whether the history was any more than a weak veneer I will leave to better historians to judge. I would be more than happy to read another of Patzer's books.