In Charlotte Yong's historical fiction, The Lances of Lynwood, Eustace quickly learns that not every knight exercises chivalry and honor as easily as he does.
Not only is he trying to prove his worthiness of knighthood to his family and prince, but also thrown on his plate is an unexpected guardianship role to his nephew. He experiences dishonorable treatment and betrayal with no where to turn for help.
This book is a great, 92-page read and is available from Barnes and Noble.
Eustace Lynwood is the perfect description of a hero. A hero is defined as a person who is admired for his qualities or achievements and regarded as an ideal model. Eustace leads a quiet life as an overaged page in Lynwood Keep. Eustace may be small and rather a sorry sight to his brother, Reginald, but he has a perfect personality and character.
On his recent return to the Keep, his brother decides to take Eustace along on his next skirmish, and then send him to Bordeaux to be trained as a squire. Eustace is determined to prove to his brother that he is capable, despite his size and health.
The table suddenly turns when Eustace is awarded knighthood on the battlefield before be loses his brother. Before he dies, Reginald tells him to guard and to protect his son, Arthur, from the Clarenham family.
After Reginald dies, the ever-down drawbridge is raised and Arthur is kept inside and in his mother's sight. Lady Lynwood fears for Arther after her cousin, Fulk de Clarenham, tries to take him to his castle.
After his mother dies, Arther is committed to his uncle Eustace's care. He greatly admires Eustace as he is the perfect description of knighthood to Arthur. He is taken to Bordeaux to be raised with the prince's sons.
Before they get there Fulk stirs up lies and stories about Eustace so that Arthur will quickly be taken from him. Arthur is forced to silently overhear lies about Eustace in the court. But when he stumbles over a plan to kill Eustace he can hold his tongue no longer.
Fulk de Clarenham believes that he has rights to the Lynwood lands but the only way to acquire them is through his nine-year-old cousin, Arthur. Fulk is determined to claim, raise and mould him to do his own will. But when Arthur’s young uncle steps in the way Clarenham will stop at nothing to be rid of Eustace.
Leonard Ashton is Eustace's mirror opposite and an accomplice of Fulk’s. Although Eustace calls Leonard a comrade, he is run by jealousy and pride. He is rather a fool and is preyed upon by people who delight in using him. He sets out with Eustace and Reginald to seek his fame. But upon the latter’s death he stubbornly joins bad companions who sour him against Eustace. Clarenham finds in Ashton a ready assistant to his treachery.
This easy to read novel is adorned with simple characters and an easy storyline. It is true to life in all areas except in Eustace's ability to have absolutely no vices. Nobody is perfect and no one can be so flawless in real life.
The honor and goodness of the hero and the contrasting villainy of the foe make this an excellent book. The reader sees the many unfair things Eustace goes through in his uncomplaining nature and his unavenged attitude toward his enemies. It is rewarding to see that Eustace’s character is finally restored and that Clarenham is disgraced and punished.
Eustace shows his good will to Fulk by pitying him and forgiving him years before he asks. Nothing happens to Ashton, though the reader wishes he would have been struck by lightning or something fun.
At the height of Fulk's downfall, Arthur reminds the reader that we must love our enemies by announcing, “He is my mother’s kinsman and I loved his (Fulk’s) name for her sake.” Forgiveness, love of enemies and a firm purpose of pursuing honor and goodness are all traits that the reader will come away with from reading The Lances of Lynwood.
I really enjoyed this story. I had listened in on A Tale of the War of the Roses by the same author and had thought that this story would be hard to follow. But it is a very fast story with only 16 quick chapters and an easy to follow storyline.
I enjoyed it so much that I read it to Teen-A once and aloud to my younger brothers as well. I hope you enjoy it too!
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