"A winning historical romance"
In 1230 France, Fulk de Galliard is horrified when he
comprehends that his only blow killed his brother Rabel.
His father interrupts the weeping Fulk to inform him that
he is at the mercy of Rabel's grim knights. Not long
afterward, a friend takes the battered Fulk back with her
to heal at least his body.
For the next seven years, Fulk works the tournament
circuit. He has earned his nickname the "Reluctant"
because he prefers not to kill still feeling the guilt of
losing his temper and committing fratricide. Meanwhile
Lord Windermere informs his daughter Jehane that she will
either wed or enter a convent. Jehane worships the
idealism behind tournaments wanting to participate as the
Iron Maiden, but not understanding the grim reality of the
contests. She becomes irate at Fulk when he cowardly
forfeits the final match of a contest to Earl Grimald.
The Earl sends Fulk to take Windermere, which he lays a
siege to, not realizing the Lord is dead. After his men
take control of the keep, Fulk and Jehane fall in love,
but she questions his courage until he risks his life to
keep her safe. Jehane knows that Fulk is not the coward
of the county, but actually her brave knight in shining
Fans of medieval romance will appreciate this amusing look
at chivalry. The story line focuses on various
perspectives of Fulk's aversion to killing ever since he
committed involuntary manslaughter. Though at times the
humor overrides the action, readers will enjoy
Elaine "Sir" Knighton's terrific message that ponders what
a hero is and what a coward is?
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted June 13, 2004