Seduced by Destiny

I adore Glynnis Campbell's novels. Seduced by Destiny, set in 1545 Scotland, is Glynnis writing as Kira Morgan. The plot features my favorite type of heroine - a woman who can wield a sword.

Jossy's mother was slain on a battlefield. Raised by three men, Jossy ends up outspoken, headstrong, and able to take care of herself. It turns out the man who slew Jossy's mother did so out of mercy, not anger. Even so, he was so overwrought with guilt that he took his own life. This was Drew's father. So we have a Romeo-and-Juliet setup, where the families are on opposite sides of a large conflict. Luckily for Jossy and Drew, they have no idea how they are connected. Drew never knew who his father killed. He resisted following in his father's footsteps, though - instead using his atletic skills to play golf across Scotland, taking their money rather than their lives.

This is the setup to a quite intriguing story. Jossy is no shrinking violet, and for good reason. The men who raised her wanted her to be ready for anything. Scotland in the 1500s wasn't a calm, quiet place. It involved chaos and warfare. Her character and skills make perfect sense for her time and situation.

Drew, equally, has a powerful reason to be avoiding the conflict around him. He's seen first hand the trauma it can cause. Still, he is drawn in to Jossy and her passion for what she feels is right.

As with all her books, the research Glynnis puts into this story is simply amazing. I adored all the details - "Drew made a small mount of sand and placed his elm ball upon it." Who knew that's how they used to play! You feel as if you are really there, learning fascinating tidbits about the way life used to be. She creates a fantastically solid world without turning it into a dry lecture.

There were a few tiny quibbles I had with phrasing, but certainly nothing serious. All in all, the characters are great, the world in which they live is robust and detailed, and I was drawn along until the very end.

Highly recommended.

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