Tag: Margaret Mallory

Guest Review: The Guardian by Margaret Mallory

Posted November 14, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Judith’s review of The Guardian by Margaret Mallory.

Four young Highlanders – Connor, Ian, Alex and Duncan – hurry home from France after hearing news of the disastrous Battle of Flodden against Henry VIII’s forces. With his father among the dead, Connor must take his place as chieftain. Before he can lead his clan through the perilous times ahead, however, he must first dislodge the usurper who has taken his family’s castle and claimed leadership of the clan.

Connor’s cousins and best friend, Ian, Alex and Duncan, will stand shoulder to shoulder with him in every fight. They are willing to give their lives for their clan and their new chieftain. But taking wives to serve the clan’s interests is a different matter altogether…

This is a new series about four related young men in medieval Scotland.  While they are also best friends, they will each have their own particular story to relate in the subsequent books.  The prologue of this first book sets the basis for the series and begins the reader’s involvement with these four individuals.

Now we meet Ian and Sileas, best friends in their youth and two young people who were deeply in love–possibly for the first time in their lives.  But Ms Mallory has given us a brilliant book that clearly outlines the historical and political realities of that time.  Both these people got caught in the political machinations of people they hardly knew, and adding in the tensions that existed for generations in ancient Scotland, the reader can’t help but get a clear view of the stresses encountered by Sileas as she is sent to Ian with every expectation that they will marry.  Sileas still wants Ian because she still loves him . . . at least she loves the young man she remembers was kind, generous, passionate, warm and winsome.  The man she meets years later is harsh, hard, all about clan business and the wars that may come in order the set the clan’s inherited leadership.  Is this her old flame?  Can they ever have any hope of finding each other again?

This is a story full of passion and color, war and peace, political manipulation and the creativity women of that time were forced to exercise if they were to have any hope of establishing a sense of place and of self in a world which viewed women as baby machines, property, or, at the very least, chattal.  Sileas had no intention of allowing much of that to be her reality.  The sparks that fly between these two people light up the literary skies and make this a book that is awesome in its scope and deep in its probing into the life that was norm in that day.  Sileas’ struggle to find the man she loved and remembered is perhaps the foundation of this tale.  But all around are the secondary characters as well as Ian’s “friends” who make this novel come alive, jumping right off the pages and engaging the imagination and response of the reader.

Lovers of historical fiction will find this book wonderfully satisfying while also engaging the love of romance for those who melt at the thought of those handsome and sexy Highlanders.  Life in Scotland was a no-holds-barred kind of existence, and the people who lived then were strong and vibrant.  These characters will live long in your remembrance and hopefully you, like me, will put this on your “favorites” list and among the books you hope to re-read in the near future.

I give it a rating of 4.5 out of 5

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Forever Publishing. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Review: Knight of Desire by Margaret Mallory

Posted April 20, 2010 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Holly‘s review of Knight of Desire (All the Kings Men, Book 1) by Margaret Mallory

I bought this trilogy based on the recommendation of a bookseller. She said for a debut novel this was really well done so I decided to give it a try. I have to say I was very impressed.

I adore medievals as a rule and this one was lovely. Though there were several misunderstandings and a lack of trust between the couple, I felt they were justified on both sides.

Although Catherine is a strong, independent woman, I never felt she was too independent, though there were times in the beginning when her actions annoyed me. Despite betraying her first husband she was very loyal and caring. She suffered quite a bit throughout the book, both mentally and physically, but she bore each new strain admirably. Though I understood why her husband mistrusted her, I still felt her pain.

Because of Catherine’s past and some of his own experiences before meeting her, William has a hard time putting his trust in her. Even after he comes to care for her he still harbors doubts about her fidelity and loyalty to him. To make it worse, his 2nd in command, Edmund, constantly spins things to put Catherine in a bad light. Though William wants to trust her, sometimes her own actions and the words of his most trusted friend are more than he can overlook. At times I became just as frustrated with him as Catherine, but it was hard to remain angry. His strong sense of honor and self-doubt made him an extremely sympathetic character. Plus, the kindness he showed not only Catherine but her son and the inhabitants of her home was very endearing.

I found the setting and political backdrop fascinating. The Prince, King and their enemies were written in a way that was engaging on their own while advancing the main storyline. I also enjoyed the other secondary characters, especially Robert, Stephen and the Tudors (who were featured here before their reign).

Though I disliked some of the actions of both characters at times, overall I found them both to be compelling and richly drawn. The setting and secondary characters added flavor and depth. I can’t wait to sink into the rest of the series.

4.5 out of 5 

The Series: 

 Knight of Desire (All the King's Men)Knight of Pleasure (All the King's Men)Knight of Passion (All the King's Men)

This book is available from Forever. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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