The Sisters of St. Jude’s Abbey are not your typical religious order. Established by Eleanor of Aquitaine, the sisters are trained in combat along with their holy studies. When the need arises, they are eager to be chosen to serve the Queen, in whatever capacity she needs.
Skilled with the quarterstaff, Elspeth Braybrooke is surprised to be chosen by Her Majesty for an important quest. The daughter of traveling entertainers, she is not highly born and has no powerful relatives. These concerns are unimportant to Eleanor. All that matters to her are her husband and sons. She must do whatever she can to insure that King Henry continues to rule until her sons are ready. Elspeth will be the perfect choice to find and secure the fabled stone of Merlin, Llech-lafar so that the prophesy will not come to pass.
Elspeth’s quest takes her into Wales, where she must be vigilant. The Marcher Lords are suspicious, and the native Welsh would like nothing better than for the Normans to vacate their homeland. When her attempt to enter a Norman keep is thwarted by a taciturn Welshman, she finds herself distracted from her mission.
Tarran ap Llyr is also on a special journey - one of revenge. He is seeking the former friend who murdered his beloved wife. He cannot leave Elspeth unprotected, his honor demands that he offer aid to the woman traveling alone. Her protests and demonstrations of skill only further intrigue the wounded warrior.
Author Jocelyn Kelley has brought us another fine book in the St. Jude series. I am really enjoying the play on words in the titles, and One Knight Stands is no exception. Elspeth is a marvelous warrior, but also a bit of a ditz. She tends to chatter, and cannot remain silent for any length of time. This quirk only makes her more real and endearing. Tarran is a man in anguish, having failed to protect his wife from harm, his honor in tatters. Elspeth brings the light back into his life.