Quest of the Warrior Maid: Bradamante & Ruggiero by Linda McCabe
Paperback: 428 pages
Publisher: Destrier Books (June 22, 2011)
A love foretold between sworn enemies will determine the fate of Christendom. Bradamante, the niece of Charlemagne, and Ruggiero, a Saracen knight descended from Hector of Troy, are renowned warriors who meet and fall in love on a battlefield before being separated. This tale of impossible love is set against the backdrop of a holy war between Islamic and Christian armies shown in bloody sieges in Marseille and Paris. Other legendary heroes such as Orlando and Renaud de Montauban are featured in this saga of chivalry, secret romances, betrayal, revenge, and magic. The story is adapted from the classic, but largely forgotten, epic poems “Orlando innamorato” and “Orlando furioso” written during the Italian Renaissance. Quest of the Warrior Maid should appeal to fans of Arthurian legend, medievalists, Francophiles and Italianophiles.
Quest of the Warrior Maid by Linda McCabe really captures the feeling of the old epic poems from which it is adapted. The main characters, Bradamante and Ruggiero, are strong, endearing characters that go through numerous struggles of separation and conflict in their quests for love. This story is about love at first sight between two people who cannot, on the surface, be together because of their positions in opposing armies (Islam and Christian). This religious barrier and the physical separation between the characters create constant tension that makes the story a page-turner.
Normally, it would be difficult to pull off a “love at first sight” scenario without seeming cliche, but McCabe does it well because of its basis in the epic poems. The chapters are short, with many of them ending in cliffhangers, so the entire novel reads very quickly.
Quest of the Warrior Maid is the first volume in the Bradamante and Ruggiero series.