Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Review: Highlander Avenged by Laurin Witting

Highlander Avenged 
by Laurin Wittig
Series:  Guardians of the Targe #2
Pub Date:  June 24, 2014
Publisher:  Brilliance Audio
Narrator:  Phil Gigante
Length:  8 hrs 22 min
Format:  Audiobook
Source:  Kindle Unlimited

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

Although the English king tried to wrest it away, the Highland Targe—ancient relic and protector of Scottish lands—still lies safely in the hands of clan MacAlpin. But for how long?

Jeanette MacAlpin trained her entire life to become the next Guardian of the Targe, but that duty has now fallen to her cousin Rowan—a duty Rowan can’t seem to master. Fearful for her clan’s future, Jeanette seeks the solace of a sacred wellspring, and there encounters tawny-skinned Highland warrior Malcolm MacKenzie.

Wounded in battle, Malcolm is desperate to regain the use of his sword arm and strikes a deal with Jeanette. In return for her skills as a healer, Malcolm will advise the MacAlpins in their resistance against the English. And when he can once again swing a blade, he’ll return to the ranks of the Scottish army to fulfill his duty as a soldier.

But as passion grows between the golden warrior and the fair-haired healer, duty collides with love. Will they follow their hearts, or will clan loyalties keep them forever apart? 

This book picks up where Highlander Betrayed left off. Rowan has been made Guardian of the Targe, and has married Nicholas and made him chief of Clan MacAlpin. If you read my first review, you will remember that I switched to the audible narration for a portion of the book and it caused a huge disconnect for me because I didn't care for the narrator. Well, this book, I started with the audible narration (same narrator) and, even though I am not a fan of this narrator, I enjoyed this book more than the first one.

Jeanette was eldest daughter of the last guardian, so she is dealing with her life now that her fate has been seemingly changed. She is fighting with Rowan, who will not allow Jeanette to train her in the ways of the guardian So Jeanette is a bit lost and unsure of what her position should be in the clan. She meets an injured highland warrior, Malcolm, fresh from fighting with Robert the Bruce. A relationship quickly develops and Jeanette begins thinking she could be happy with a different destiny. However, that old destiny rears its head and changes everything again. I liked Jeanette and Malcolm - they both seemed to have a lot of personal growth in this book.

There was more of the supernatural element in this book - and I felt that part was well done. It was mixed into the various aspects of the story without overshadowing it. I also liked the symbolism of the stag in Jeanette's visions, and those historical cave etchings were really cool. I was also happy to see that I was right in my prediction in my review of Highlander Betrayed that the supernatural element would extend to all three girls. I didn't like that it was ripped away from Jeanette and Scotia in the first book. Speaking of Scotia - I really do not care for her. She is going to have to really grow up for her to be redeemed in her book, Highlander Redeemed.

The fictional seat of Clan MacAlpin is Dunlarig Castle.  I wonder if Ms. Wittig based this on Finlarig Castle?  I may have to add it to my Scotland Itinerary.

Finlarig Castle was built in the 17th Century by "Black" Duncan Campbell (Donnchadh Dubh) of Glenorchy.
It stands on a mound on a peninsula between River Lochay and Loch Tay in Perthshire, Scotland.

Guardians of the Targe Series

My ReviewMy ReviewReview Coming May 29