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Earlier, Thistle had blessed the torrential rain. Now, the smuggler cursed it. A lightning bolt slashed the ink-black sky. The shadows of the night blurred, and Thistle shuddered. The premonition descended with the finality of a coffin lid being nailed shut.
Thistle stood at the left hand of a dark-haired man. Swirls of mist curled around their feet and shadowy forms rose up between them, separating Thistle from the stranger. A flash of steel pierced the darkness. The white mist turned bright red, then faded to nothingness.
The smuggler's eyes flew open! Thistle strained to hear, but thunder and wind obliterated other sounds. Lightning flashed; in the instant it illuminated mountain and glen, Thistle glimpsed a lone rider spurring his mount along the rough Highland track bordered by tall firs. He stiffened and toppled from his horse. Two caterans crept from the trees. While one searched their unconscious victim, the other rifled his satchel.
As the smuggler's four companions surrounded the caterans, Thistle stepped onto a wind-smoothed boulder. With an arrow nocked taut against the string of the black longbow, Thistle aimed the lethal missile at one cateran's heart and waited.
A flash of white light followed by a jarring thunderclap startled the thief. He raised his head and screamed. His companion dropped the pilfered booty. He fell to his knees and crossed himself. "Please, Thistle, spare us! We meant no harm."
Posted December 17, 2009
The Scottish Thistle
Thistle is a masked hero of the Highlands, akin to Robin Hood but Thistle helps smuggle goods into the Highlands instead of stealing from the rich. Like Robin Hood, Thistle shares the food and riches with those that need it most. When the book opens with "Thistle" has saved a man traveling alone from an attack. Thistle and his men aid injured Duncan Cameron and take him to their secret quarters.
Duncan Cameron had traveled into the territory searching for the outlawed MacGregor clan with a missive from his lord Lochiel that will require the fiercely independent Rory MacGregor to fulfill her father's decades old promise to marry a person of Lochiel's choosing. This early promise was made as a way to offer Rory the protection of a powerful clan and to give the MacGregor's a better future. They had not expected Rory to become chieftain of the MacGregors.
As chieftain, Rory agrees to marry Duncan Cameron but imposes two conditions: the marriage will be of short duration and it will not be consumated. Duncan agrees to the marriage because his lord demands it, but he agrees to Rory's conditions because he has come to respect and love her. Rory and Duncan slowly settle in to married life on Cameron lands, but their peaceful existence is shattered when the Stewarts ask longtime supporters to aid their return to the throne. Bonnie Prince Charlie drags Rory, Duncan, and all they love into the deadly battle.
If you enjoyed Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, you will surely love The Scottish Thistle. It combines political intrigue, Scottish history, and a powerful love story. Rory MacGregor is strong, courageous, gifted and loyal - she takes on all odds to save those that she loves. Rory is well matched with Duncan Cameron. Duncan is an unmatched warrior and a leader who will fight to the end. While the details of the love story of Rory MacGregor and Duncan Cameron are different from those of Diana Gabaldon's Claire and Jamie, you will find yourself equally admiring of their courage and will and rooting for their survival. I thoroughly enjoyed The Scottish Thistle and recommend it highly!
Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC (November 20, 2006) 420 pages.
Review copy courtesy of Pump Up Your Book Promotion Tours and the publisher.
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Posted September 20, 2012
Posted September 12, 2010
Cindy Vallar's novel begins during the year 1744 in the country of Scotland. She definitely takes her readers there with her wonderful descriptions of the country, in addition to the well-researched historical aspects. Readers will learn about the politics and wartime in this country filled with various clans. It does become tense at times with the battle scenes. Throughout this time of war, Ms. Vallar weaves in a love story between characters that don't "fit the mold," as in a lot of typical romance novels. Readers will fall in love with Rory and Duncan as Vallar shares their emotions, love for family, and the loyalty they have to what they see as their mission in life. Some readers may struggle with the dialect used in the book, but most will "take it on" which is part of what makes this piece of fiction feel so authentic. This helps to make the characters come alive. Readers who want a book to take them to another place and time will certainly enjoy Ms. Vallar's book of historical fiction with a love story within its pages.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 24, 2012
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Posted September 24, 2013
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