Sunday, July 29, 2007


Review of Joining, by Johanna Lindsey:

Johanna Lindsey seems to have sexual identity issues. This is the second book in a row of hers I've read, in which the heroine detests her own body and tries to live like a man. Luckily, Joining is far better than Brave the Wild Wind.

Milisant, the cross-dressing 13th century heroine, is well-matched with Lord Wulfric, though both are furious when they first meet. Betrothed at birth, the couple has only met once as children, when Wulfric accidentally killed Milisant's bird and then broke her foot in self-defense when she brutally attacked him. Needless to say, neither is excited about the upcoming wedding. But Wulfric turns out to be fun and brave, and domineering enough to balance out Milisant's excessive wilfulness. Lindsey does a good job of showing why they fall for each other, and creates decent chemistry between them.

The medieval setting was new for me and Lindsey's portrayal drew me in--I loved the strange rules and customs the characters navigated, and the slight sense of freedom one doesn't get in Regency England. The action subplot and odious King John's cameo were also well-done.

The book was good, but not great. I didn't really like Milisant, who is immature and foolish. I also wouldn't consider Lindsey as good a writer as many of the others I've read, so I'm sticking this book with a B-.

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