Books by Patricia Malone

Released: Nov. 8, 2005

In this flat sequel to The Legend of Lady Ilena (2002), the young Scottish chieftain, seeking redemption in brave deeds after disgracing herself in battle, saves the life of King Arthur himself. Stunned to see her betrothed, Durant, in an enemy's chariot, Ilena temporarily falls behind during a fight and is forced in shame to leave her new home at Dun Alyn for a time. Captured by allies of the invading Saxons, she sees her darling, who had been drugged into compliance, stabbed from behind, and then breaks out with her royal fellow captive in time to marshal forces for a climactic battle. Malone's use of first-person present tense adds neither drama nor intensity; Ilena comes off as wooden rather than tough—not even a sympathizer's "life goes on, Ilena. It does not seem to now, but it does. Gradually, slowly, happiness will creep back into your days," generates more than a tepid response—and readers tolerant of the stiff prose, or the frequent recaps and revisits to the locales of events in the previous episode, will be annoyed when the author cuts her tale off before the aforementioned battle for a long, self-serving afterword. Promising plotline; lackluster writing. (Historical fiction. 11-13)Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

A sword-swinging maiden encounters dangerous intrigue in newcomer Malone's tepid historical adventure. Fifteen-year-old Ilena always felt like an outsider in the sixth-century north British village where she was raised. Although respectful of the villagers' Druid faith, her family is Christian; and unlike the other girls, Ilena was raised to be a warrior, not a wife. After her parents' deaths, she follows their hints about her heritage to the fortress of Dun Alyn. Her journey leads to battles with blue-painted barbarians and slave-hunting raiders, but also refuge, friendship, and a hint of romance. None of this can prepare her for the challenges she faces at Dun Alyn, where everything she once knew about herself proves false, and where her very life is endangered by a destiny she never imagined. This all should be exciting stuff, and the notion of presenting a strong heroine from a little-known historical period is a worthy one. Unfortunately, her stoic bravery constrains Ilena from showing any personality except by mooning after a handsome warrior; the remaining characters are little more than plot contrivances and generic villains. While a historical afterword broadly sketches the political background of the period, the narrative is riddled with errors of detail that undermine the already tenuous plausibility that Celtic Britain displayed a politically correct gender equality and tolerance for ethnic and religious differences unmatched by the present day. Still, Ilena's story has moments of high drama and a few genuine surprises, which might appeal to fantasy and adventure fans. Mediocre, but harmless. (Fiction. 11-15)Read full book review >