Knight Errant

Written by R. Garcia y Robertson
Review by Trudi E. Jacobson

Robyn Stafford has flown from Los Angeles to England to surprise her lover on his birthday. Unfortunately, she finds that Collin is married and has children. But Collin also has a sister, Jo, and a niece, Joy, who take Robyn in while she recuperates from the shock. One day while hiking in Wales, Robyn comes across a fully equipped medieval knight whom she finds very sweet, but whom she is sure is crazy. The Earl of March isn’t — he is a victim of a displacing spell, just as Robyn is to be herself. She soon finds herself in 1460, arrested as a witch and in dire circumstances. An earlier and improved version of Collin arrives on the scene, soon to be joined by an earlier Joy and Jo. Robyn’s adventures are aided by her ability to understand and speak any language spoken to her. She clings to her illuminated digital watch, lighter, and electronic notebook (whose batteries seem to last suspiciously long) as mementos from her real life, while hoping to run into her knight again.

The sense of the period is vividly rendered. Since Robyn is an outsider to the period, the explanations she receives help the reader as well. She tends to compare things from the Middle Ages to things in the 21st century, and some of these juxtapositions are forced and jarring. The author is prolix, though the pace does pick up in the second half of the book. A check of history books shows that the Earl of March, later Edward IV, isn’t quite the paragon portrayed in this novel, particularly in regard to true love and fidelity. But he is a pleasure to spend time with in this incarnation.