Okay, Linda Windsor is my new favourite author of the week. This is the first book (of hers) that I have read and I have already determined I will be adding others to my collection as soon as possible.
A Brief Synopsis:
Maire, warrior queen has come to invade. She pillages, she plunders, but she really does not have a taste for violence. Conquering? Yes, absolutely; but violence, not so much. And then she meets Rowan. Rowan is a warrior and he has the scars to prove it. But he refuses to kill. He doesn't even want to fight. So, being the smart, sassy woman that she is, she decides he will make a great hostage husband - even if he is a Christian. And she will rule. But along the way, something happens. Rowan is not easily controlled. He really does become king in his own right. But danger lurks. Evil is waiting. The horrid Morlach is ready to curse the two of them in order to take over all the land. Will they ever be one in spirit? Will they overcome the evil of the enemy?
This was a great read. The characters were gripping. The heroine was real; she had confidence, she had doubts, she was human; she was not just a warrior or a queen but she was a woman. The hero, was a perfect blend of strength and softness.....and the 'bad guy' was really bad! The other characters all had distinguishing personalities and they were each very easy to get to know. The village of Glennmara is quaintly described and the peasants are just everyday folk trying to eke out an existence in a land that has been robbed of its value. I found myself really gripped by this book and found myself wanting to read the next in the series right away. The book was serious, engaging, often fun and light-hearted and at times heart-wrenching....which makes a great recipe for a novel.
I highly recommend this book.