The Warrior BrideI enjoyed the first book in the series because it featured a female swordswoman. With a name like "Warrior's Bride", and with this being the second book in the same series, I thought this would be the same. I was disappointed. Instead, the story is about a girl who only picks up a sword at the very end in a quite unrealistic scene.
First, let me say that I did read the book through in a few hours and it kept me engaged. So the book was reasonably good. However, there were a variety of flaws along the way. Characters are introduced in very confusing manners, so half the time you're wondering "who IS this person they just mentioned? Was I supposed to know about him or her?" Things are mentioned in the plot as if you'd been told about them, but skimming back through the pages you realize you never were. Sentence structure is sometimes jumbled so you aren't clear who is talking or who is doing what until you keep reading and get further clarification.
A key part of a good story is that you stay immersed in the story. There are several times here where you "step back" and get summary dumps piled on your head. It's not TOO bad if this happens in an unimportant scene - but it's done right in the middle of the final scene! Not good.
A variety of scenes suffer from lack of logic or information. The heroine goes off riding with her hero. The whole time I'm thinking, "hey, what's the chances this girl has ever BEEN on a horse before?" Nothing is said at all about it. Then later in the story she gets on a horse again, has trouble with it, and it's commented that it's only the second time she's ever been on a horse. What, and this didn't deserve any mention or storyline demonstration the first time around? She just hopped on a horse, rode off, no problems, no pain?
The story is set in 1353 but they have small ships with cannons on them that they're easily using without large support staff? The history of cannon shows that this would be HIGHLY unlikely for a small ship in this time period. I don't think they had "balls" in England at that time, even for the huge land cannons.
It's hard to comment on the ending part of the story without giving away part of the plot, but let me just say that it does not feel reasonable at all. There are about eight different things "wrong" with the ending sequence ranging from character actions and reactions to technical issues about how things work. Since this is the most important part of the story, it left me feeling very let down.
I hesitated between 3 and 4 stars. I did still enjoy the story. I enjoyed the effort made to incorporate glass blowing - something unusual - into the plot. I appreciated that the plot kept me engaged. However, a good editor should have cleaned up most if not all of these issues before the book came out. Plus, for me personally, since I got the book expecting the woman to be capable with a sword, to see the one situation portrayed inanely really disappointed me.
I won't be getting the third book in the series. I might recommend this to someone who loved Scotland and who wanted to read every Scottish book they could get their hands on, but it's not in my top list of romance novels. It's not even in my "books I'd keep to read a second time" list.
Books with Medieval Swordswomen
Medieval Romance Basics
Medieval Romance for Villagers
Medieval Romance for Nobles
Medieval Romance for Men
Medieval Romance for Women
Life in Medieval Days
Lisa's Medieval Romances
Seeking the Truth
A Sense of Duty
Online Literary Magazines
Lisa Shea's Homepage