The Minstrel and Her Knight (Minstrel Knights Book 1)


Azalais de Keldy wants to rescue her father who has been imprisoned in France for two years. Her older brother Robert refuses to pay the ransom and expects Azalais to marry a wicked lout of his choosing. Younger brother Benedict is but a poor monk. Azalais’ plan is to work her way over to France disguised as a male minstrel, then rescue her father and pay the ransom with her dowry. Benedict finally agrees with one condition: she must travel with a man of his choosing. That man is a knight, Sir William de Fauconberg. Azalais is introduced as Alain, a youth who sings and plays the lute. Sir William plays the vielle and sings remarkably well. She keeps her head covered with a hood, because even with her short hair, she is frightened of what will happen should William find he is traveling not with a youth, but with a woman!

"The Minstrel and Her Knight” is a whimsical piece with deceit, violence, and humor. The reader is kept wondering when Alain’s true identity will finally be revealed to William and what will be the consequences. Sluggish in the beginning, this tale does not pick up pace until our minstrels land in France. William and Azalais lack development and depth. William has a habit of using anachronisms which jar one out of the story and into the present. The inner conflicts for both characters allow the reader to feel their angst as William and Azalais each try to determine what their futures will hold. With a delightful premise, this story presents a different twist on the typical lady in distress and her knight.

Belinda Wilson