After reading a long run of books that needed, at least, better editing for style and grammar, reading Mary Reed McCall (an English teacher in her day job) was a breath of fresh air. How delightful it was not to be pulled out of the story by odd word choices, tortured phrasings, and grammar poor enough to make one shudder. McCall's writing is clear, smooth, and never leaves the reader asking what in the world she meant.
The lead characters, Gwynne and Aidan, are resolute, honorable, tortured, and intriguing. McCall shows a real understanding of the true honor and its price. Despite the Fabio-like cover art, Aidan is a strong, sensitive hero who has to choose, or make peace, between love and honor. Gwynne lost her memory 12 years ago, losing her true identity as well. Can she rediscover that woman, that life, and reconcile it to the only life she remembers, that of a warrior?
My reason for giving The Maiden Warrior 3 & 1/2 stars is that I simply didn't find it engrossing or thrilling. It was enjoyable and interesting, but not a lot more. I will admit, however, that it could have been the timing of the read, such that real life interfered with my enjoyment of the book. I was holding out huge hopes for a fellow English teacher; she met them gramatically and in most other ways. But for some reason I cannot identify, I wasn't grabbed by the book. I did, however, like it enough to try another of her books.