I wasn’t sure what to expect of a story set in 1030-1050 AD Scotland. I don’t remember the last time I read a book set in this particular time period. If you aren’t sure about it either, this is definitely the book to read. From the very beginning, I was intrigued by the characters and the plot. We meet such different individuals that trying to predict how they all come together is nearly impossible. I loved the many twists and turns that this story takes as we journey together with the characters.
As the story opens, we meet the twins, Sorsha and Ceana, as they are born to their 15 year old mother. They are the result of the laird forcing himself on their mother despite her protests. When the lady of the keep learns of their existence mere minutes after they are born, she forces their mother out into the cold while agreeing to allow the twins to remain in the care of the midwife. When next we meet these two women, they have grown and changed in so many ways.
We also meet Royal Ethan Maclean, the eldest son of the Maclean. He is set to inherit his father’s keep, but his weak disposition and stutter make him less than desirable for a warlord. Ethan suffers terribly at the hands of his father and his stronger half-brother. In order to save her son, Ethan’s mother sends him away to her clan.
When these three people finally meet, sparks ignite in so many ways. The drama and perilous situations that follow them add suspense and intrigue to the tale. Every thing works out as it should despite the many obstacles that are apparent in their first meeting.
I loved the historical setting of the story. Having little knowledge of the time period, I can’t speak to its authenticity, but it was nice to read a historical novel that was different from the more popular Regency era books. I definitely learned something from this book about Scotland at this time.
The romance in this story adds a complexity due to the experiences the characters had in their past. Can Ethan trust that the woman he is attracted to will care for him despite his stutter? Will Ceana and Sorsha be able to overcome their treatment to live happy lives? Each one of these individuals has reason to curl up and avoid society. The strength they show in continuing to live their lives and to search for love make them admirable characters.
The only aspect of the book that seemed tiresome was the constant danger that the characters were in. It might be historically accurate, but it seemed as though someone was always after them and they would just get out of one predicament only to find themselves in another. Life was definitely challenging for them.