cover image Knight’s Ransom

Knight’s Ransom

Jeff Wheeler. 47North, $14.95 trade paper (428p) ISBN 978-1-5420-2529-4

With this superlative epic fantasy, Wheeler (the King’s Fountain series) launches his First Argentine series, which returns to the Kingdom of Cedigion to chronicle the turbulent events surrounding the first rulers of the Argentine dynasty. Wheeler twists medieval history and the Arthurian legends that inspire him into new configurations, and many elements of those stirring old tales echo through this swashbuckling coming-of-age story. Episodes from appealing hero Ransom Barton’s early life alternate with brief entries from the journals of Claire de Murrow, who grew up with Ransom in the court of King Gervase, where both were held as hostages to guarantee her parents’ loyalty to the crown. Through many painful trials both physical and emotional, Ransom wins his knighthood and loses his heart to Claire. Throughout, Ransom is stirred by strange bursts of strength and skill that suggest he’s one of the “fountain-blessed,” but while he fights ferociously in his duty to successive lords, his recklessness proves a liability that he must learn to overcome. Wheeler does an expert job of reintroducing his fantasy world through the eyes of sympathetic characters that fans and new readers alike will root for. This is sure to be a hit.[em] (Jan.) [/em]