Thursday, January 3, 2008

THE WARRIOR by Kinley MacGregor

I'm back, just in the nick of time to do this review. A live discussion is beginning in two hours, lol, so yeah... talk about the last minute girl.

by Kinley MacGregor
Historical Romance

Hey, "read more." (g)

THE WARRIOR is several books into the Brotherhood of the Sword series by Kinley MacGregor. I haven't read any of the others, so I can't really judge the series as a whole, but there was probably enough in this book that most people could follow along without any major problems.

Brief Synopsis: Lochlan MacAllister is the Laird of his clan and has taken it upon himself to discover the truth about his younger brother, Kiernan. Kiernan disappeared a couple of years previous and was believed dead up until a late night delivery hinted that he may indeed still be alive. Lochlan leaves Scotland and travels through France (I think) to find him and meets Catarina, the bastard daughter of the King of France. She has escaped her father in order to avoid a bethrothal to a man she doesn't love. Lochlan inadvertently becomes involved with her escape and then pledges to escort her to safety. Only problem is that they can't stand one another.

Okay, you'll notice my little "I think" up there in my synopsis. That statement unfortunately goes a long way in explaining the main problem I had with this book. There was really no sense of setting. I couldn't tell you what year this story took place, or for sure what country they were in at the time. Rather unfortunate, that. I do know the men after her were trying to take Catarina to Paris, and Lochlan spoke in guttural French. But had I not picked up on those little bits, I don't think I would've had any idea. And to tell you the honest truth, I'm still not 100%.

Then there was a bit of a problem with the characters staying "in time" with the period. There were a lot of what I'd consider modern phrases used -- both in dialogue and their internals. When I heard someone say they had to go see "What was up?" I blinked hard for a few seconds. There were a few others, though they elude me right now. The point being that there were enough of these slips to pull me right out of the story.

The story itself was okay. It's a romance, so of course the love story is front and center. I'm okay with that, but I didn't quite get or understand the sudden turnaround between these two. There was never a moment where I thought...Oh, that was so sweet of him/her...I can see why the other would love them. As a reader, I was quite often told their feelings, but I never saw the _foundation_ for them.

All in all, I would say it skimmed the surface on all levels--sensory, emotional, story. Unfortunate because I think it had the makings for a fine book. The ending was unexpected. It introduced a paranormal element that came out of nowhere. Not sure it worked for me either.

I'm sure a lot of people enjoy this series, but unfortunately, it wasn't quite right for me.

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