LADY ILENA: WAY OF THE WARRIOR by Patricia Malone

LADY ILENA: WAY OF THE WARRIOR

Age Range: 11 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

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)

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 2005
ISBN: 0-385-73225-2
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2005