An Earthly Knight

An Earthly Knight - Janet McNaughton This is at least my fourth time through this book and my third review of it. I've loved the story of Tam Lin (from an old Scottish ballad) since I was a little girl. I read it (with the "salacious" bits removed) in a book of fairy tales. At the time, all I knew what that the girl saved the boy, and there were gorgeously scary fairies.I've read other retellings of Tam Lin, but I think this one will always be my favourite. Even after four readings, there are phrases and descriptions that make me catch my breath with their beauty."If I could come to you as an earthly knight, my lass, if I could court you in your father's hall, I would.  But that cannot be."Tam Lin falls from his horse one day when he and his father are out hunting. He is rescued/kidnapped by the Queen of Fairies, who binds him to her and keeps him with her for seven of our years. When he decides to return to the world of men, he finds he cannot break the thread. Janet meets the young man when she visits Carter Hall, which Janet's father aside for her tochter (dowry). This strange young man who is not completely of this world fascinates Janet and begins to catch at her heart.McNaughton's book is the story of Tam Lin, but she also brings in a second ballad, "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight", which provides the backstory. Because of her elder sister's disgrace in running off with Bleddri, Lady Jeanette (Janet) is thrust into a role she was never raised to fill. When she is selected as a prospective bride for William de Warenne, the king's brother, she enters a new and tempting world as glamourous and false in its own way as the world of the fairies.This book will always have a treasured place on my shelf. I'm thrilled that in a few days, I'll have the opportunity to spend a week with McNaughton at the Banff Centre. It was my love of this book that gave me the courage to apply, and I'm thrilled to learn from the author of An Earthly KnightThis review also appears at Boxes of Paper