The Swan Maiden

Susan King, Author
Susan King, Author Signet Book $6.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-451-20213-0
Reviewed on: 01/01/2001
Release date: 01/01/2001
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In the second book of her ""Maiden"" trilogy (The Stone Maiden, etc.) King revisits medieval Scotland in the days of Robert the Bruce's rebellion against England. Scottish-born Gawain Avenel, who fled to England with his mother after his father's murder, still yearns for his homeland despite being raised by his beloved English stepfather, Sir Henry Avenel, and taking vows to be a king's knight. In contrast, the spirited Juliana Lindsay has no such divided loyalties. A beloved heroine among the rebels for her guise as the mysterious swan maiden who leads English troops astray, Juliana crosses paths with Gawain when she is captured and displayed before the king's court. While attempting to rescue the young maiden from her humiliation, Gawain finds himself commanded to marry her. On King Edward's order, the reluctant couple travels to Scotland in the company of the watchful and malicious Sir Walter de Soulis. As the rebel movement intensifies and Gawain begins to identify more closely with his Highland heritage, the bond between him and Juliana grows stronger. With its well-conceived plot, fast pacing and strong visual elements (such as wild swans, an archery contest and a castle set ablaze), this feisty historical romance will enchant even those who are wary of the well-trodden, medieval Scottish setting. (Jan.)
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