by Shannon Drake

March 2002
ISBN: 0 8217 6928 6
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

This story is set in the twelfth century. It is a time of brutality in the war for the freedom of Scotland. After Igrainia’s husband Afton dies of the plague, Scottish warriors loyal to Robert The Bruce capture Igrainia. Eric Graham determinedly leads the warriors to rescue Igrainia. Eric’s little daughter dies from the plague and he wants Igrainia to keep his wife alive. Eric sees Igrainia as the only hope of saving his family though she has no special powers.

I actively disliked Eric from the beginning of this book. He was so cold and hard and constantly humiliated Igrainia. The way Shannon Drake tells this story kept me reading, as normally I prefer to have some liking for the hero and heroine. The plot is very good and the historical period is vividly described. The battles that ensue are told in detail, some of it very unpleasant. It was not a good time in the history of England; their King’s determination to capture Scotland was carried out in a very cruel way.

Igrainia is very brave though a trifle headstrong. She became attracted to Eric much against her will. As the story progressed, my respect for Eric as a soldier increased. It was still hard to like him as a man though I managed to understand him better. He was certainly a handsome warrior!

I liked the way the author portrayed the difficulties the Scottish people faced and how they often had their loyalties torn in trying to provide for their families. And Ms. Drake adds an excellent chronology at the end of the book tracing the history of the British Isles and those who conquered them.

This is a very well written story that provides a tight plot and some well thought out characters. There is also a healthy helping of passion and romance. My only fault is not being able to like the hero.

Reviewed in May 2002 by Mary.

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