Wednesday, January 30, 2008

On a Highland Shore by Kathleen Givens

On a Highland Shore My Rating: 5 of 5 stars Read: January 2008 Kathleen Givens breathes life into history & her characters, creating a moving & captivating story. Set in 13th century Scotland Margaret MacDonald is preparing to marry Lachlan Ross, (cousin to King Alexander.) When Ross betrays Margaret, she refuses to marry him and travels to England with her sister Nell and her brother Rignor to ask the King to break her betrothal contract. On returning home, Margaret finds viking raiders have destroyed her home in Somerstrath, decimated her clan & murdered her family. Gannon MacMagnus, a half-Irish, half-Norse warrior offers Margaret hope of defeating the barbarians & reuniting her clan. I couldn't turn the pages of this book fast enough; the pace was frantic but beautifully developed and I was caught up in Margaret & Gannon's developing love story. Givens weaves the story with breathtaking clarity, showing the raw beauty as well as the brutality of the time. The depictions of the viking raids are violent & graphic as is the carnage in the battle scenes. Difficult to read but I didn't find it to be gratuitous violence. I found the Author's note referring to which of the characters and events are real, informative & an appreciated addition. Givens admits to mixing fact and fiction but hopes her "depictions are close to the spirit if not the letter of the past." This novel was pure escapism! If you like this review vote for it on Goodreads


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