Best 1927 Adventures (10)
March 14, 2017
One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1927 adventure novels. Happy 90th anniversary!
Leslie Barringer’s Neustrian Cycle fantasy adventure, Gerfalcon.
Neustria was a 6th and 7th-century kingdom comprising the north of present-day France; it split apart circa 750. Barringer’s novel imagines an alternate medieval France where Neustria still thrives. Raoul, the introspective, poetic heir to the barony of peaceful Marckmont, is being raised by his uncle, in bleak Ger. After he falls in love with the beautiful lady Yseult de Olencourt, Raoul runs away from home until he comes of age. (Was Lloyd Alexander’s Taran Wanderer inspired by this story, one wonders?) Raoul gets to know the lowborn folk of Neustria — including a brave serving girl, a warrior woman with flame-red hair, three deadly outlaws, and a few witches — each of whom has some wisdom to impart. Forced into action, he frequently surprises himself. Peace has a price, Raoul discovers; and one’s own heart’s desires are not to be trusted.
Fun facts: This is the first installment in the Neustrian Cycle. The other installments are Joris of the Rock (1928) and Shy Leopardess (1948). In the 1960s–70s, the trilogy was championed by Lin Carter, among other fans.
Let me know if I’ve missed any 1927 adventures that you particularly admire.