A Knight to Remember by Bridget Essex is the first in a wonderful series where we, ahem, I mean, the main characters get to fall in love with lady knights. This first volume is the mixing of two worlds; Agrotera, specifically the kingdom of Arktos, the kingdom of lady knights, (yeah, lady-loving lady knights) and ours. Holly is relaxing in the bath after yet another disastrous date with her girlfriend when a sudden storm strikes and the lights go out, and she hears the scariest, most awful sound from her backyard. When she goes to take a look, she’s astonished to find a mons- no, that can’t be a real – yep, omigod, that is a real monster! And fighting it valiantly is a woman dressed in armor. Holly can only take in brief glimpses during the flashes of lightning, but this seems like something out of a dream, or a nightmare, or the Knights of Valor tournament that was the location of her last date. During the last lightning flash, she sees that the monster has disappeared, but that the knight is crumpled on the ground, wounded. This is how Holly meets Virago, of the Royal Knights of Arktos City, capital of Arktos. She must help Virago navigate our unfamiliar world as the brave knight hunts down the beast that she chased through a portal to our world. Once the beast is vanquished, she also has to help Virago find a way back home. Unfortunately, the biggest drawback to helping Virago get back to Agrotera might be the fact that Holly’s falling in love with her.
Holly totally feels like me when I was a teenager (except I didn’t know I was gay.) She loves books, and fantasy, and chivalry, and medieval recreations, oh! and unicorns! Okay, so she’s a bit stuck in a rut as far as her love life is concerned. She’s been dating her girlfriend, Nicole, for four years now, so she should want to take the next step, right? Isn’t it past time to move in together? (Yes, especially for a lesbian relationship. Girl, get a clue. Something isn’t right!) The problem is that she isn’t ready. Holly dreams of being swept off her feet by a woman who knows what chivalry is, and that it isn’t dead. And Nicole just doesn’t fit that bill. Enter a woman who lives and breathes chivalry, with the muscles, and sword, to match.
Virago feels her duties and responsibilities keenly. It’s kind of her thing. After all, she seems to have knighthood encoded into her very being on what must be the genetic level. So her first priority is to track down the beast and vanquish it, keeping this world and its people safe from harm. Her second duty is to rejoin her sister knights in Arktos, and move on to the next mission her Queen gives her. Only the Lady Holly seems to be distracting her a bit…
The Writing Style
This story is written in first person, present tense. Not exactly my favorite, either of them, so imagine my surprise when the author pointed out to me that she wrote a book with the exact techniques I professed not to like. Which, I suppose, just goes to show that she did it really well, since I didn’t notice it (well, okay. I did notice the first person part). I will say that the language in this book is very flowery, with long descriptive passages that echo what I imagine a traditional medieval story of knightly quests and damsels in need of rescue would sound like. I’m not sure whether that’s deliberate, or a style of the author’s that just lends itself well to this type of book.
Okay, this is easy. Lady Knights. Swords. Epic battle between Good and Evil. And a love story. What’s not to like?
The only bad thing about this book/series is Essex’s penchant for pausing before writing the next book in the series to intersperse some broody, hot, sexy werewolves and vampires. Come on already. Give me a break. I’m ready for the next Knight book!
This is one of my favorite books by Bridget Essex. (Yes, I might have to downgrade this one now that I’ve read the newest at the time of writing this review, Just One Knight, because it was totally fun and funny and adorable!) I think this is the perfect series to start with if you’re just discovering Bridget Essex’s books. But believe me, you have a lot of good stories in store.
Excerpt from A Knight to Remember by Bridget Essex
“Are you all right?” There’s a strong, warm hand at my elbow and my waist, and then gently, I’m turned over and raised in muscular arms, and I’m held in this incredibly gentle embrace…
And oh, my God, it’s the woman from last night.
She’s standing in my living room.
My eyes are drawn to those beautiful, full lips that are curled upwards in a graceful smile. Her eyes, crinkled at the edges as she grins down at me, are the most intense blue I’ve ever been witness to, made even more intense by the daylight, as if that were possible. They seem to glow from within, an ice blue that’s clear and vibrant beyond description. As I stare up at her, at her gorgeous face with her lovely, strong high cheekbones, her graceful jaw and full lips I’m trying to memorize, she gently lets me go, steps away from me, gazing at me and clearing her throat softly, brows up and still smiling as she inclines her head toward me.
“Um,” I breathe out, as I stand there with my mouth open. Very articulate. “Um…” My voice trails off as my gaze drifts down, and I stare at her leg, at the gigantic hole in her leather pants.
At the complete lack of blood.
And, you know, at the lack of wound.
The wound is gone.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781977958792
- Publisher: Rose and Star Press