Dark Maiden by Lindsay Townsend is set in the the plague years of the 1300s, when people were terrified by strangers who could be carrying evil spirits and death.
For the unusual hero and heroine inhabiting this world, life is always a risk. Finding food and shelter and friendly people is hard enough, but it is even harder for a woman exorcist of Ethiopian descent and her travel companion and potential lover – a bell-bespangled magician and juggler attired in ragged motley.
As the characters face challenges, accusations, and exorcise ghosts, they grow closer together until love wins out. It sounds like the typical romance.
However, Lindsay Townsend has selected two unlikely people to become lovers. Yolande is strong, self-confident, and self-sufficient and does a man’s work dressed in men’s clothing.
Geraint, is not a burley knight, but a poor dark-skinned Welshman, small and lithe for a man. He has learned to survive on his smarts and his ability to distract and move with agility. When these two people come together, they form a powerful whole.
Lindsay Townsend shows in this work that not all medieval romances have to be about knights and castles and rich men’s daughters fighting to hold on to their land. These two impoverished people find joy in simple things – good food, peaceful nights, and their love for each other. It is enough. You will find joy in this book too, as the lovers find their happy ending.