KNIGHT ERRANT

R. Garcia Y. Robertson, Author, R. Garcia y. Robertson, Author . Forge $27.95 (480p) ISBN 978-0-312-86996-0

Without swooning over an ancient portrait or using any of the devices associated with time-travel romances, heroine Robyn Stafford goes back (and forth and back again) six centuries to medieval England to find and keep her man. Hers is, for the most part, an exciting romp: Robyn becomes a witch, is jailed by villains, charms mad King Henry VI and meets 15th-century counterparts of 21st-century people she had known. She fervently wishes to return, but once back, she willingly forgoes Hollywood, her job and the pleasures of her own time. All this she does in favor of the discomfort, dangers and lack of amenities of a ruder age—and, especially, Edward Plantagenet, Earl of March, dashing, imperturbable and in love with her from the moment they meet. As for the time travel, it is engineered by a witch, whom Robyn encounters in each era she visits. Spunky and inventive, Robyn makes her own way, even using her credit card to unlock a door bolt. Robertson's (The Spiral Dance and American Woman) detailed knowledge of the era and the terrain usually complement his story, but at times it just gets in the way. It is unnecessary to know, for example, that Sir John Falstaff, rudely characterized by Shakespeare, was actually a hard-working knight, nor do readers need to be told the derivation of "Cheapside." The prose can be downright hokey ("Built like a college quarterback, the boy was a way better dresser"), but the unexpected and often delightful turns will keep romance fans happy. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/15/2001
Release date: 11/01/2001
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