(Cover picture courtesy of Rainbow Resource Center.)
Riding through the great courtyard ringed with the banners of the Round Table knights, Luneta felt very alone and uncharacteristically shy.
Luneta is tired of living in dull Orkney with her mother and father. She would much prefer the rich pageantry of court. And Luneta prides herself on always getting what she wants, so when the opportunity presents itself to stay at a family friend’s castle near Camelot, she jumps at the chance. her handsome cousin, Sir Ywain—a young knight seeking adventure—arrives just in time to escort her. Along the way they pick up Rhience, a young man living as a fool for a year.
Together, they are about to step into a web of love, betrayal, and more than a bit of magic.
It’s nice to finally have an idea how much time has passed since The Squire’s Tale and it’s also shocking to hear that it’s been twenty years since the first book. Remember Lady Lynet from the second book? Yes, Luneta is Lady Lynet’s child and she’s not even really a child, but in her teen years. How times flies!
The Lioness and Her Knight sounds like a typical girl empowerment book with Luneta kicking plenty of butt and being generally ahead of her time. That’s not exactly true and I’m glad it’s not. Luneta is ahead of her time because of her tendency not to mince words, but she never physically kicks any butt because her talent is getting people to do what she wants. She is a terrible manipulator when she thinks it’s for a good purpose, but throughout the book learns that maybe it’s better to leave people to their own devices. She’s a great main character and despite how my description of her sounds, Luneta is sympathetic.
As for Rhience, where do I start? He’s very witty, but also very subtle about it. Oh no, you actually have to think about his jokes! He has such an interesting backstory that you can’t help but at least feel sympathetic for him, but he’s also a great ‘fool’. Thank goodness he gets so much page time because he was my favourite character in the whole book! Rhience is certainly not just comedy relief, but also a good character in his own right.
Gerald Morris, unlike many authors, seems to have never encountered a writing slump in his series and he hasn’t struck out yet. I’ve loved every book in the series for its own unique qualities, something that is incredibly rare. The Lioness and Her Knight presents a very cynical view of people like The Ballad of Sir Dinadan does, but it’s also full of love and hope. You can’t really ask for more in an Arthurian legend, can you?
I give this book 5/5 stars.