Gloria: The Merlin and the Saint

Ann Chamberlin, Author . High Country $24.95 (448p) ISBN 978-1-932158-61-8

Chamberlin, moving from DAW for this third installment of the Joan of Arc Tapestries, again mixes above-average medievalism and convoluted narrative. She picks up Joan's historical career from her first appearance at the dauphin's raggle-taggle court through his coronation at Rheims as a fulfillment of Merlin's prophecy. Much of the story along the way is taken up by Joan's lifting the siege of Orleans by charismatically securing the loyalty of able lieutenants and by outright magic. The latter is provided by Father Jann, Merlin's heir in witchcraft, and Gilles de Rais (aka Bluebeard), a talented bon vivant who believes that Joan (or La Pucelle) is his destined true love. The battle sequences are formidable both in vividness and detail, as are the magic sequences. It takes some suspension of disbelief to accept Chamberlin's kinder, gentler Gilles de Rais (who has come down to us as a pedophile, mass murderer and Satanist), but the story is otherwise credible and absorbing if sometimes slow. At the end, the stage is set for La Pucelle's destined fate, and readers who have come this far will probably want to see it. Agent, Linn Prentis of Virginia Kidd . (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/22/2005
Release date: 00/00/0000
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