AN EARTHLY KNIGHT by Janet McNaughton


Age Range: 12 & up
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Sandwiched between two ballads, “Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight” and “Tam Lin,” is the story of Jenny, younger daughter of a minor Scottish-Norman noble. Her elder sister Isabel having disgraced herself by running away with and then killing one of her father’s knights, Jenny is now the focus of her father’s alliance-seeking. When she’s brought forward as a candidate for marriage to the heir to the Scottish throne, all seems to be golden for her—except that he’s a bounder, and she’s fallen in love with the fey Tam Lin, a troubled young man who haunts Carter Hall, a property taken from his family and given to Jenny’s father. The strengths and weaknesses of this tale alike reside in the details of 12th-century Scotland, both political and domestic. Jenny is rendered more or less true to her time, her own inner conflict arising from her very real awareness of her obligations to her family. The “Tam Lin” elements of the tale are also faithfully rendered, but the story’s earthly details tend to overwhelm the fairy magic, resulting in a sometimes awkward splicing of the two. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-008992-X
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2004


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