In this early thirteenth century tale, women are shown as completely the victims of the machinations of men. They are used for creating useful family ties as well as for revenge. There is probably too much of uncomfortable truth here, but the start of A Knight for Kallen is abrupt and ugly, with injustice reigning supreme.
Then unexpected kindness turns the tide.
Kallen is unusually strong and clever…particularly so for the circumstances of her childhood. Her future is plainly uncertain; she may be a ‘mischievous spirit,’ but she is in a world ruled by nobility, and mostly male nobility at that. She must rely on herself and her own unusual abilities…at least, she thinks she must.
Griffith, a fighting man who is no stranger to tragedy, makes an unexpected impression upon her. Though she ‘reads’ him – she is also left unsure.
From her first journey onward, Kallen’s path is unpredictable. We readers will find ourselves intrigued with the events as much as with the people.
Linwood’s setting – from castle to abbey, and horseback to forest – always seems completely perfect. And for the most part, we are swept along, from great halls and along lonely roads. Some conversations carry the burden of too much information and slow the pace, although these moments are rare.
There is no denying the strength of the characters; minor secondary characters are often as strong and clear as primary. Although lacking on the charm scale, A Knight for Kallen does offer action, unpredictability and powerfully intimate feelings.
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