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The Knave and The Maiden
by Blythe Gifford Harlequin

Category: Fiction / Autobiography
0 pages; ISBN: 0000000000

Rating: 8/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Anne K. Edwards


William, Earl of Readington, and friend of Garren is dying and sends Garren on a pilgrimage to seek the intervention of Saint Larina. Garren is approached by the prioress of a nunnery to ruin a young girl who will also be making the trek with another sister. Garren joins the band of pilgrims and finds himself elected leader because of his calling as a mercenary. Then he meets Dominica, the girl he is to ruin and finds himself in a quandary. Will he go through with the deed? Even as they are faced with life threatening danger? And when Richard joins the pilgrims, things begin to happen. Why is he there? The reader will find some interesting characters in this story, but their stories seem curiously incomplete. What happens to the widow and physician, the young couple who want a child, when they present their petitions? Did they crawl to the shrine? On the other hand, the disposition of Richard is well done and one wants to boo him each time his name appears. And the story would have been more compelling if there had been some subtle clues planted as to Sister Marian's secret. Set in medieval England after the time of the Black Death, Ms. Gifford presents the reader with a clear picture of the desperation people must have felt when their loved ones were dying and they were helpless in the face of such loss and how they reacted. In Garren, we find the bitterness of lost faith, in Dominica, the innocence of unknowing youth, the two sides of the coin of religious belief. The question of whether Garren will ever believe again helps to drive the story forward.



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