Friday, 4 April 2008

Dark Maiden

As demons haunt medieval England, Geraint and Yolande rely on their love to survive.

The 1300s are a time of pestilence and unease, plagued not just by disease but by demons and the restless dead. Yolande wanders England and Wales, armed with her blessed bow and sacred herbs, laying the spirits to rest and driving the demons away. She’s bound to serve for a time of seven—though she knows not what that means.

Geraint the Welshman travels the countryside, juggling and tumbling to earn his keep. When he meets Yolande, he’s caught by her fierce yet sweet nature and vows to stay by her side. As they journey closer to Yolande’s final trial and face foes ever more cunning and dangerous, Geraint and Yolande have only their mutual love and trust to help them survive.

Ellora's Cave (forthcoming, June 13 2013)

Read Chapter One

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Two Lips Reviews:

Yolande is half Ethiopian and wonders around the medieval British countryside dressed like a man using her Saint Sebastian bow which is blessed and her knowledge of herbs to exorcise evil demons and bring peace to the restless dead. She must remain chaste for a time of seven or endanger herself to possible possession by a demon. Until she meets the entertaining and charming Welshman, she has always worked alone. While their bond grows, so does the danger in which they put themselves.

Geraint is a Welshman who earns his living by juggling and entertaining, but he is smitten with the fierce, but lovely, Yolande and determines to travel with her as her protector. But the 1300’s is a time of mistrust and danger to those who are different. As they travel from place to place, they occasionally fall under scrutiny and suspicion from villagers as well as the evil spirits they have come to hunt. Even if they survive villagers, evil spirits and the undead, will Yolande and Geraint ever find a way to have a normal life together?   

I found the exorcisms and release of restless dead exciting and interesting. Dark Maiden isn’t just about exorcisms, however; it’s also about human nature and the distrust of anything and anyone who is different. Yolande not only looks different, but acts different. I liked the way Ms. Lindsay Townsend handled those differences without coming off preachy or making it the focus of the story. Ms. Townsend creates believable characters with purpose and motivation.

I particularly liked the character of the Welshman, Geraint. His devotion to Yolande, his innovative ways of showing her how much he cares about her and respects her, and his bravery really made me care what happened to him. Sometimes I felt some distance with Yolande’s character and she didn’t seem to reciprocate Geraint’s regard to the same degree. 

Dark Maiden is filled with beautifully constructed and layered scenes that make the reader feel they are part of the story which I have found to be Ms. Townsend’s trademark. Dark Maiden is a delightful story filled with historical details that make the reader feel they’ve taken a step through time. Readers will thoroughly enjoy Ms. Townsend’s Dark Maiden.