The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf by Gerald Morris

(Cover picture courtesy of Rainbow Resource Center.)

“A lady,” the dwarf repeated.  “I’ve just been disarmed and taken prisoner by a lady.”  He shook his head slowly.  “I really am pathetic.”

Lady Lynet’s life has become unbearable: Her castle is besieged by an evil knight who beheads her would-be rescuers.  Her only chance for freedom is to ask King Arthur for help.  But to do so, first she must get to Camelot.  So one night she slips away and meets a dwarf named Roger.  He doesn’t appear to be the most likely companion, but Lady Lynet soon learns that people can be more than they seem, including herself.

For those of you hoping Book 3 of The Squire’s Tales would contain more about the adventures of Terence and Sir Gawain, you’ll be sadly disappointed.  Both Terence and Gawain do appear at various points throughout the novel, but the main focus is on Lady Lynet.  This was disappointing for me at first, but then Lady Lynet became such a strong character I had no choice but to connect with her.

Although I know the basic story of Beaumains I really did not see the twist coming at the end.  Wow.  And it actually made sense, but was surprising at the same time!  Gerald Morris also added much more depth to the original legend, most importantly in the case of Roger the dwarf and Lynet.  Lynet isn’t just a nagging woman who constantly torments poor Beaumains and Roger the dwarf isn’t just comic relief.

The plot went a little more quickly this time, but that’s probably because we were introduced to the conflict right off the bat: evil knight keeping beautiful damsel captive and killing all knights who try to rescue her until she agrees to marry him.  This time the beautiful damsel is not-so-nice and it is her sister, Lynet, who decides to do something to stop the bloodbath.  The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf isn’t so much plot driven as character driven.  You would think that would make it slow and boring, but the characters are so vivid and the world-building Gerald Morris did was incredible so it worked in this case.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

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