Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New Review: Patricia McAllister’s SNOW RAVEN – Scottish Laird Falls for an English Lady in Waiting to Elizabeth Tudor

Original cover
This is the third in McAllister’s excellent “Raven series.” Set in 1578 in the Highlands of Scotland, it is the story of Ranald, Laird Lindsay and Earl of Crawford, also known as the Wolf of Bandanlock, and Meredith (“Merry”) Tanner, a half Irish Englishwoman who is a lady in waiting to Elizabeth Tudor. Merry is betrothed to Sir Jasper Wickham, who she has never met when she leaves her sister in Wales to return to court.

Merry’s coach is attacked by Ran’s brother, Gilbert, who is out for some fun. Though no one is seriously hurt, the coach is ruined and Ran offers to see Merry to her betrothed. Little does she know that Sir Jasper is Ran’s enemy, who he believes responsible for the death of his much-loved wife. Ran plans to hold Merry as his captive to get to the truth, but his plans go awry with an unexpected result.

A great tale reflecting much research into the historical events of the period, McAllister has obviously taken great care to give you the feel of the Scottish culture and the characters’ accent come across as very real and add to the feeling you’re in Scotland. She also portrays the tension between the Scots and the English at the time. The characters are richly drawn and the plot intriguing. Caught in the middle between Ran’s anger and Sir Jasper’s treachery, Merry will accept her fate but she brings more to the arrangement than Ran bargained for.

Though a bit drawn out in places, it held my interest. It’s a part of a trilogy, but can be read as a stand alone. I recommend it!
Kindle Cover

The Raven trilogy:

SEA RAVEN (Irish heroine, Bryony O'Neill, Merry’s mother)
FIRE RAVEN (Morgan Trelane, a Welshman, the Devil of Falcon's Lair and Kat, Merry’s sister)
SNOW RAVEN (Ranald Lindsay, the Highland laird known as the Wolf of Badanloch and Merry

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