Anyone looking for a good lesbian love story that takes place in the medieval period should definitely try Lady Knight by L-J Baker. It has a perfect blend of romance, battles, and intriguing characters.
The story opens with Riannon, an open female knight who is rejected by almost everyone who learns her true identity. She is honorable and chivalrous, but people only see her as a misfit. She is saved from a mortal wounding by her cousin, the queen’s sister Aveline, and is now under her services. Aveline is plotting a holy war, and selfishly tries to become a leader of the highest religious order.
Eleanor is a beautiful and wealthy widow, who catches the eye of many a man. But she has had enough of arranged marriages and wants to keep her freedom. When she first meets Riannon, the two have an immediate attraction to each other, and finally they become lovers. But can two medieval women really end up together?
The story is set in a fantasy world with magical healing abilities and charmed swords. Other than that, Baker paints a very real medieval world. The cultures and countries, though made up, strongly resonate with our world. The dialogue between the characters is interesting, as they speak the way a medieval person might have. The customs and the religion are invented so well they are almost real; what with the prayers they utter, and the offerings they make to their gods and goddesses.
I loved the way Riannon and Eleanor’s love for each other was portrayed. They clearly respected each other, and both did a lot of soul searching about their love for each other and what it meant for them. The love scenes were sweet and tender, and their love was so palpable it radiated right out of the book.
Besides the romance, there are some action sequences: battles and duels which Riannon must overcome. There are other hurdles as well, such as Aveline and her sister each using the two women for their own selfish purposes, misogynist men, an impending war, and the ghosts of Riannon and Eleanor’s own pasts.
I love how I came to know both Riannon and Eleanor. All throughout the book, bits and pieces of their backgrounds come to light, and by the end the pieces are woven into a history about each woman. This added more to their already well fleshed out personalities. It also made the book richer in detail.
Lady Knight is a gripping read, as well as heart-warming in places. I’ve read this book five or six times and have never gotten tired of it. For a lesbian/medieval romance, it was everything I had hoped for. Though it may not appeal to some, for others this gem of a novel will make great reading.