Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New Review: Laura Parker’s A ROSE IN SPLENDOR – Exciting Irish Romance with Fairy Lore Elements

This is book 2 in the Rose trilogy but it can be read as a stand alone. Set in Ireland and France beginning in 1691, it tells of the Fitzgerald family and their daughter Deidre who at 7, is already dreaming dreams that forecast her future. Her nurse tells her she is marked by the fairies—as witnessed by the rose tattoo she bears on her shoulder—and that her mother was a witch.

One of Deidre’s dreams tells of a handsome young man with nearly black hair and blue eyes, riding a dark horse and wearing a black cape. A man just like that shows up at their Irish estate just as they are forced to leave for exile in France after the Jacobite army loses at the Siege of Limerick. The young man, who suddenly appears in their stable, wounded and bleeding, is hiding from the English troops. Deidre’s quick action saves his life. Though her father is wary and her nurse disbelieving, Deirdre insists the dark haired stranger is destined to be her true love. Her father intends to assure she never sees him again.

Years later, Deidre has grown into a beautiful young woman and is living in France with her family when Killian MacShane, a hero of the French army and a friend of her brothers, comes to visit. Deidre instantly recognizes him as the man of her destiny but Killian, an impoverished soldier trapped in a relationship with a conniving French noblewoman, is not so sure.

This is a well-told story with rich historical detail, vivid descriptions and interesting characters. As with many Irish historical romances, the abuse of the English and their laws that deprived the Irish of their homeland, their property, pride and often their lives, is woven into the tale. And there is the fairy lore aspect that makes this one different. I recommend it!

The Rose Trilogy and the years in which the stories are set:

Rose of The Mists - 1569
A Rose in Splendor - 1691
The Secret Rose - 1844

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