by Kathryn Hockett

February 2002
ISBN: 0-8217-7257-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Erica of the clan MacQuarrie always knew her father was a Viking Jarl and dreams that one day he would come to claim her. But when Torin, a Nordic warrior, is sent out to find the Jarlís child, he expected to retrieve a son named EricÖ which didnít bode well for Ericaís hopes and dreams!

The historical detail in this story is excellent and I must say I really looked forward to reading it as it was set on the Islands of Staffa and Mull. The Islands are not far from where I live so the history was local to me.

The romance was good but I felt the plot was a bit disappointing. I would have preferred that the action in it was a bit faster moving. Ms Hockett spends a lot of the novel on the history of the period it was set in rather than the storyline.

I felt that while I enjoyed reading about the history, the whole reason for Torinís visit seemed a bit muddled with too many Nordic characters. Though they were the crew that he travels with, they became confusing, as the names of the individuals popped up with no apparent distinction from one character to the next. They were just described as very large and hairy.

Torin has as many enemies among the Vikings as he did among the

Scots. The problem with this, I felt, was that the Viking enemies did not come across very well at all - they seemed unnecessary to the story and just added excessive details. If the book had been a bit shorter, the plot would have seemed better paced.

I liked the two lead characters well enough. Some of the secondary characters like Ericaís uncle and brother were enjoyable as was her Father. Ericaís cousin, Iona, was very good as the spiteful young woman who was quite jealous of Erica. Her interference in Torin and Ericaís growing attraction at the beginning of the novel was well written. I would have liked the other Viking characters to have been as well thought out as the Scotís ones were.

Reviewed in April 2002 by Mary.

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