by Jen Black

February 2004
ISBN: 1-59105-163-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Novel Books Inc.

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Daveth mac Finlay is the nephew of Malcolm, King of Alba. He is also one of the Kingís best commanders. Being in line for the throne, Finlay has always managed to do as the King wanted. Until he finds out that Malcolm has married the woman Finlay loved to his cousin. The consequences of his rash behavior finds Finlay traveling to the land of Orkney where the overlord, Thorfinn, awaits him. Along with Thorfinn is his sister, Ratagan, a beautiful girl with ideas of her own.

Finlay soon will find himself in a power struggle. Who should he support? Malcolm, the King or Thorfinn, is a long time friend. As the time for a decision draws near, Finlay must also decide whether his loyalty remains to the woman he thought he loved or belongs to the woman he is learning to love. He must decide whether open warfare is best. He becomes lost amongst the intrigue and lies. He must hold on to the things that are most important to him, his self-respect and his honor.

Ratagan has also been strong and independent. She listens to her brother, but is not ruled by him. To her surprise, somewhere along the way, she has found herself beginning to care for Finlay. He seems arrogant and overly confident, but there are things that call to her. She knows that she is risking a lifetime of happiness by marrying him, but she chooses to hope for the best.

The Banners Of Alba is an adventure story with political intrigue and unexpected love. The main characters grow and find themselves rethinking what they always believed in. Their loyalties change. They learn that the best decision isnít always the one that makes them feel good. They have to let go of childhood dreams to be able to live in the adult world. The story is evenly paced. At certain points, it becomes hard to figure out the characters since there are quite a few introduced. Itís an entertaining book. The reader canít help but give a quiet cheer as Finlay finally grabs a hold of his destiny.

Reviewed in June 2004 by Jenni.

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