The story is set in mediaeval England, during a period when women who were healers, were burnt for Witchery. There lived a woman named Miriam, who at the age of 24, was considered well beyond the marriage stage. As the eldest daughter of a nobleman, she was expected to marry-and marry well. But she was considered ‘odd’ by many, and no suitor darkened her doorstep. Rather than lament this turn of events, Miriam rejoiced. For Miriam held her own vision of how she would live her life. She was as a healer, helping the sick. That vision was brought to a sudden halt when she learnt of her betrothal to Lyon DeWarrick-one of the fiercest warriors in the kingdom. The battles he led were legendary and merciless. People quailed when they learnt his soldiers lurked in the region.
Lyon’s deadliest enemy, Cyrus, dogged his footsteps, always on the lookout for a weakness to attack Lyon. He blames Lyon for the death of his brother during battle. Attending the wedding, he saw what no one else could see, Lyon’s true feelings towards his bride. Finally, he’d found a source of his greatest revenge.
I Cyrus planned an accident, and almost succeeded when a tree fell on Lyon, trapping his leg during a hunting party. Miriam heals Lyon, but it almost meant certain death for her should he not survive, as Lyon was willing to forego traditional methods of healing, and placed himself under the hands of his wife. It is during this period that Lyon really understands his wife, and her strength of character. To stay beside him, and fight for him, even though it would mean her certain death.
Prepared for battle, he rides with a small army, prepared for anything. What he was not prepared for was to find his old enemy had already planned for his wife’s death, and managed to foil his attempts at his wife parents keep. It is here that Miriam witnesses the true colours of her husband’s character, and understands how he came to be the fearless leader of many rumours. It’s also the point where Lyon stakes his claim, and where Miriam truly commits to him.
Her fears are unfounded. Lyon shows to her another side to himself. He’s proven to be a person of sensitivity and tenderness, if not demanding, as he makes love to his wife. Miriam responds to him in a way he never felt possible, and both feel changed by the experience. Miriam is at sea because the impossible had occurred. She is in love with her husband.
But Lyon is not finished, and leaves his home to deal with Cyrus, and his deadly plans. Unbeknownst to him, Cyrus is aware of his every move, and has lured him away from his home, leaving Miriam defenceless. He plans the ultimate revenge -Miriam being tried on Lyons home ground for witchcraft. All is going according to plan, and all Lyon’s men have been proved ineffective. With no one to contest his word, Miriam is tied to a stake, and set alight.
Unfortunately for Cyrus, he has an inside person, who goes against his plans and foils his plan. Added to this, is Lyons premonition that he needs to return home. Without exacting revenge on Cyrus, he returns home to find Miriam being burnt at the stake. He is exactly where Lyon needs him to be- in torment as he watches the person he loves dying before his very eyes, and powerless to prevent it.
As he makes his way to Miriam, his hands are badly burnt, and once cut free; he is horrified to find he’s too late. But due to his actions, she survives the ordeal, but Cyrus is killed in the ensuing battle, by the hand of one of his own men.
After such a brush with death, both Miriam and Lyon feel the need to declare their love for one another. Lyon may not have understood the depth of his feelings for Miriam, but he knows he loves her deeply. Unfortunately, he did not know whether Miriam returned his feelings. This was finally revealed to him in an unguarded moment by Miriam, when the reluctant bride, becomes the committed wife.