Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Review: Amanda Scott’s Abducted Heiress - A Highland Hunk, a Strong Heroine and the Little People!

This is the first in Scott’s Secret Clan series (see list below). Set in 16th century Scotland, it tells the story of Molly Gordon, the Maid of Dunsithe and heiress to an estate in the Borderlands (and supposedly a fortune). Her father, Lord Gordon, was murdered when she was five and that very night she and her baby sister, Bessy, were abducted away from their mother to be raised apart, in Molly’s case on the Isle of Skye. Bessy died as a babe, leaving Molly alone. Now 17-years-old, Molly is to be taken away again, this time to be the ward of Sir Finlay Mackenzie (“Wild Fin”), a handsome Highland chief who has the power to barter or marry her by order of King Jamie. Little does Fin know there was fae magic at work (the Secret Clan). Fin has his hands full when he realizes that Molly, a spirited a young woman with a mind of her own, has no intention of obeying his commands.

What I loved: (1) the household spirits, or “little people,” their speech and accents captured wonderfully well by Scott. It added a whimsical touch and an interesting depth to the story that did not detract from what would otherwise be a more typical Highland romance. (2) A strong but imperfect hero (Fin is an independent, drool-worthy Highlander, but often times harsh with Molly, not valuing her opinion, or indeed, even conceding she is entitled to one). (3) A strong heroine, just the kind we like. Molly is for the most part, independent and resourceful and does not hesitate in killing her enemies.

A few negatives: (1) The book really needed a map of Skye and environs with the real and fictional holdings noted, particularly since it’s the beginning of a series. The descriptions were just not adequate and had my visual mind in knots. (2) Molly’s expertise in the longbow seems highly improbable, notwithstanding words by the author to the contrary. A woman, especially a slight woman like Molly, could not pull a longbow (it takes 150 lbs. of pressure), and the bow would be nearly as tall as she is and not subject to being slung over her shoulder as some scenes suggest.

Still in all I found it entertaining and can recommend it.

The Series in order:

Abducted Heiress
Hidden Heiress
Highland Bride
Reiver’s Bride

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