Monday, October 22, 2012

New Review: Susan King’s LAIRD OF THE WIND – Great Hawk-Themed Medieval Romance

This was my first by Susan King and I really enjoyed it. She paints rich visual images of the times and the places and the characters are well described and memorable.

Set in Scotland in the early 14th century, this is the story of Isobel of Aberlady who has a gift of visions that describe events to come. Her father and the family priest guard her gift and take notes when she has the visions as she remembers nothing afterwards. Believing he will protect her, her father betroths her to a strong knight, Ralph Leslie, but Ralph is not a man she would choose. One of her visions is of a man she calls the Laird of the Wind...a hawk of the forest...who will betray William Wallace.

James (Jamie) Lindsay, who was once a Scottish knight and laird, is now living as an outlaw and has lost his lands because he was accused of betraying Wallace. It seems Isobel's vision, which has become widely known, had something to do with that. He has become known as "the Border Hawk" who with a few of his men lives in the forest and raids the English. When Isobel's castle is besieged by the English because the King wants Isobel for her visions, the Border Hawk comes to her rescue, but he does so only because he wants to exchange her for his cousin Margaret who is being held captive.

It is in the forest where Isobel and Jamie recognize each other as soulmates. Ah love....

The story is "hawk themed" in many ways, not only the hero and villain both being described as hawks, but there are two hawks prominently featured, a red tailed hawk kept by Jamie's aunt and the goshawk that Jamie trains with Isobel while they are living in the forest.

The story held my interest and the characters were both likeable and believable (some quite delightful). The love between Jamie and Isobel develops naturally, though I was a bit disappointed in the love scene.

The others in the trilogy are THE SWAN MAIDEN, followed by THE STONE MAIDEN. I have read and enjoyed them all.

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