Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Audiobook Review: Highland Blood by Melanie Karsak

Series:     Celtic Blood #2
Pub. Date:Jan. 5, 2017
Publisher:Clockpunk Press
Narrator:Lesley Parkin
Length:5 hrs 38 min

Highland Blood picks up after that cliffhanger that killed me in Highland Raven. There was too much time between me reading the books, so I went back and re-listened to  Highland Raven before starting this one. (It was just as good the second time around!)

The Celtic Blood series is a fantastical retelling of the life of Lady MacBeth (a/k/a Gruoch, a/k/a Ceredwyn), from the time she was a young girl and progressing through her life in Medieval Scotland. Highland Raven focused on Gruoch's early life and meeting of her soul mate, Banquo. In Highland Blood, Grouch has returned from her time in the Otherworld with a marriage contract solidified to Gille Coemgain. Gruoch had to learn to let go of Banquo and accept her fate as a pawn of King Malcolm II.

Luckly for Gruoch, Gille Coemgain is nothing like his reputation suggests and she comes to accept him and bear his children. So the bulk of this novella is an account of Gruoch's time with Gille Coemgain, which was not very long. Usually I am a one woman man, but the author has done a good job at making me feel conflict with the various men in Gruoch's life. None of them have been unlikable so far, and that makes it hard to pick a team! 

Although this is a fantasy tale, I do believe that Karsak has worked as much historical detail into the story as possible. There are not a lot of historical details to be found about Gille Coemgain and Gruoch... with the bulk of their story coming from Shakespeare's MacBeth, which was not historically accurate. But Karsak has done a fantastic job bringing these characters to life and drawing me into their story (and even inspiring me to do some of my own research on these historical figures).

I have to say that the narrator that was chosen, Lesley Parkin, is freaking fantastic. She has really brought the characters to life, with a captivating cadence and accent for our Highland characters. She is so good that I am resolved to ONLY listen to this series in audio.  I just hope Karsak writes fast because I am anxious to learn of Gruoch's life with MacBeth.

(The ebooks for this series are available on Kindle Unlimited as of the date of this review.)

Celtic Blood