A Knight’s Enchantment
As books go, A Knight’s Enchantment is fairly typical option in the medieval genre. The plot is based on a Semi-Big Misunderstanding, the very average characters never truly caught my attention, and I left the book feeling slightly relieved that I was finally done reading it.
Joanna of Glastonbury is an alchemist whose father is a prisoner of the corrupt Bishop Thomas. The only way she can save her father is to find the secret of producing gold before the next full moon. If she doesn’t succeed, they will both be thrown into the dungeon.
Hugh Manhill’s brother, David, is a Templar knight who has also been captured by Bishop Thomas. The bishop believes that David has found religious relics, and he wants these treasures for himself. Hugh offers the bishop everything he can think of in return for his brother’s freedom, but nothing appeases him. So when Hugh sees Joanna, he believes that she is the Bishop’s mistress and a potential pawn to win his brother back. He eventually kidnaps Joanna, and it is during their journey to his father’s home that they slowly develop feelings for one another. But time is running out for Joanna, and soon Hugh has to figure out how to save not only David, but Joanna and her father.
The book didn’t inspire much feeling from me. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrific. The characters are okay – Hugh is a knight, with all the characteristics a knight should have. Joanna, as an alchemist, should have been more interesting than she turned out to be, which was fairly normal. She’s a stereotypical “woman,” in that she can’t get the image of Naked Hugh out of her head, and tends to forget everything important when she looks at him. Besides that, she’s what you would expect from a female alchemist: strong minded, remarkably enlightened, kind to everyone, et cetera, et cetera.
With the nice, slightly mind-numbing normalness pervading the story, the reason why the grade is a C- instead of a C is because the conflict of the story hinges on Hugh’s assumption that Joanna is Bishop Thomas’s leman. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why Joanna would not simply loudly (and repeatedly) announce to Hugh that she is nothing of the sort, especially when he makes pointed remarks along the vein of “How can you be satisfied with an old fatso like him?” I also felt that Hugh’s immediate conclusion of Joanna’s role was extremely faulty, and based on nothing but the fact that Joanna handed the bishop a bottle of rosewater. Apparently, rosewater = item that only mistresses give their sugar daddies. It takes Hugh a long time to figure out that Joanna is serving the bishop under duress, although she clearly says at the beginning of the story that she wants to see her father more.
In any case, A Knight’s Enchantment is an okay book. I might even go so far as to call some scenes sweet. I wouldn’t go to all my friends insisting that they read it, but it also isn’t a book I’d condemn to the trash.