Jove, $6.50, ISBN 0-515-13153-9
Historical Romance, 2001
Glynnis Campbell is also the voice of Akara the Rogue Leader in my favorite game of the moment, Diablo II. It’s just too bad the author can’t get some pointers about courageous warrior women from her employers at Blizzard Entertainment. My Warrior, the second book in the The Knights of de Ware series (the first is last year’s My Champion), has a heroine who is so irritating and immature and close to being braindead that this book actually hits the wall in my living room once or twice.
Cambria Gavin is furious when her father surrenders to the English. She, a Scots, a 14th century Scots babe, surrender to the British! NEVER! Then a silly dastardly plot leaves her father dead. Anguished, our Princess Xena on crack dons an armor and challenges the one she thinks is responsible for her daddy dearest’s murder – Holden de Ware. Holden bests her easily enough, and our heroine, who is a fair one, tries to attack him when he is trying to help her. She flees, and nicely enough, falls into the hands of the really evil bad guy who is crazy enough to want to rape her.
Too bad the baddie is so drunk that he passes out first. Not learning anything from experience, Cambria discovers the baddie dead the next day, and implicated for his murder, she is again locked up by Holden. But Holden then gets injured (I know that will happen!) in some skirmish thingie and now Cambria thinks she’s the boss. Many people in the castle leap off the parapets in fear. Holden gets well and Cambria is not happy. She will fight! She will pout! She will scream!
Holden wants to marry her, so impressed is he by her dazzling intelligence and spirit.
More people in the castle jump off the parapets in horror when they hear the news. I think some even drink hemlock and sing Auld Lang Syne (I Hope I Don’t Meet That Dumb Bitch in Heaven) with the last of their dying breath.
Cambria shrieks some more. She rushes headlong into danger. She screams in anger when Holden rescues her. Look, she’s off again.
The Ice Age comes and goes, but the sharp, painful echoes of Cambria’s petulant angst still ring bright and painfully. I stare the pages of this book, turning them with nothing but numbed stupefaction in my head as I read about more and more of Cambria’s antics. Holden must be the new saint to be remain so loving, so polite, so kind, so brave (and so bland) in the face of this grotesque hybrid of all the worst female pests I can think of.
My Warrior makes me cringe. There’s some signs here that Ms Campbell can write a hilarious story if she wants to, but why she persists on making heroines out of monstrously stupid women is beyond me.