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"Episodically told, each brief chapter rounds out another step in the romantic tale. A tour de force."

Kirkus Reviews

The Token

Samuel Shellabarger

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The last gift given Lady Blanche from her beloved father as a token of his love was a silver girdle -- "wrought with figures men and beasts" -- to be worn by one who knows lonely sorrow and the pain of toil, but also granting the strength to endure and the right of lordship. Lady Blanche dons the silver girdle after discovering that her new husband, Count Raoul de Roche-Bernard, has not been true to his vows and has betrayed her.

Though unhappy in her marriage, when the Count leaves for the Crusades, she is duty bound to take his place as lady of the castle and wisely and boldly guides the struggling manor to prosperity and harmony. During those years she meets and loves a troubadour, but her commitment to the castle and her absent lord prohibits her from abandoning her duties and the lovers soon part.

Episodically told in chivalric prose, the story unfolds, treasured step by treasured step, as a lifetime on the manor passes. They say that less is best. Told in eight chapters, The Token is a masterpiece.

The Token - cover

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