Signet, Oct 2001, 6.99, 333 pp.
In I428, Eva MacArthur, guardian of Innisfarna, agrees to marry Green Colin Campbell, an advisor to the King. Her long time friend Lachlann MacKerron is unhappy though he knows a blacksmith like him is not good enough for the daughter of a clan chief. Lachlann leaves for France to fight in the war. Colin arrives while Eva's father and older brother visit the King. He informs Eva that the king killed her father, imprisoned her brother, and outlawed Clan MacArthur. He tells her to marry him and give him Innisfarna and he will try to gain a pardon. She tells him she cannot because she is the female defender of the isle and the legend states that if a woman fails to act as the isle's protector Scotland is in trouble. He leaves for France as ambassador.
In 1431, Lachlann returns home only to learn that Innisfarna is now a fortress. Also returning to Innisfarna to claim everything including his proxy bride Eva is Colin. Eva knows she must fight him using the sword of the ”French Maiden” out of respect for the legends of cherished Scotland.
The third book in Susan King's medieval Maiden series (see THE SWAN MAIDEN and THE STONE MAIDEN for the previous two novels) is an exciting fifteenth century romance. The story line uses references to Joan of Arc, a legend of Scotland, and faerie magic in special swords to enhance a beautiful love story between two star-crossed individuals. THE SWORD MAIDEN proves that historical tidbits can easily embellish a powerful story line when the author has the talent of Susan King.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner