Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Armor of Light by Ellen Ekstrom

George Ascalon, earl of Grasmere, returns from the Fourth Crusade to learn that his father, a man who has forsaken his family and noble title to take up Holy Orders, has assigned him one last battle. There is an evil permeating a neighboring lord's lands and George is called upon to vanquish it. With a band of followers that includes his sister, a knight, a fletcher's wife and a mysterious noblewoman, George sets out to honor the pledge and in doing so discovers that he indeed has dragons to fight, and the person most in need of saving is himself.

Armor of Light is essentially an attempt to retell the story of St. George and the Dragon with an historical fantasy twist. As you can tell from the list of individuals traveling with George, there’s also a certain air of Canterbury Tales. The book excels at placing the reader inside a medieval setting, however the story lacks segues. (The reader is in one location and tossed into a different place with no warning.)  I was also frequently confused by George's personal history and how it related to the plot.  However, if you place a high value on setting and less importance on plot and character development, the book's shortfalls won't detract from your enjoyment.