by Suzanne Robinson, historical (2001)
Bantam, $5.99, ISBN 0-553-57964-9
Good grief. What has happened to author Suzanne Robinson? Her books used to be fun or at least readable. Her latest romance, The Legend is another tragic misfire that continues this author's downward spiral into being an unfunny parody of her former glory days, and I don't think I can bear any more of this. It's sad, really, to look at gems like Lord Of The Dragon and Lady Gallant and then at this The Legend.
Medieval 15th century knight Galen de Marlowe has a gift - he can see visions of the future. After a vision of Great Evil, he decides to retreat to the isolated castle Durance Guarde to ponder over it. At the same time, widow Honor Jennings arrive at the castle to start her new life. Imagine her surprise to find an interloper on her land. Imagine Galen's surprise at finding an interloper on his land.
Honor tries to pretend to be a ghost to scare Galen off. Galen tries to marry Honor off. Then Galen has a vision of Honor's death and decides to protect her.
The psychic knight is the only new angle here. Galen's previous visionary misfire results in his wife and child's deaths. Can we say "guilt-ridden, will never be good for any woman, and hence must drive her away"? Honor has a lousy marriage and now she has given away practically all her money to her greedy relatives. Now she intends to be a vowess, to "live a simple life of celibacy". A woman who gives up money and sex for the rest of her life must be seriously in need of a hard knock in the head. Of course, Honor isn't your simple woman. She reads! She wants to start a printing business! (What happened to money-free existance?)
Galen and Honor are one-note characters indulging in childish antics and petty bickerings passed off as sexual tension. Dialogue is juvenile, and King Edward's court is populated by self-absorbed debauched people (except for our two main characters, of course) who speak like the villains in Sweet Valley High. Since Galen wouldn't tell Honor anything, Honor has to do some pretty stupid things to reach the final denouement.
The Legend may go down in this author's career as that legendary book that marks her career downfall if she doesn't pull up her socks ASAP and write something meatier in the future. There's only so much past history she can rely on to sell her stuff in the future if she keeps putting out time-wasters like The Legend.
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
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