LADY OF THE GLEN by Jennifer Roberson


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The author of several robust historicals (Lady of the Forest, 1992, etc.) presents a stirring if ultimately doleful drama concerned with the 1692 massacre of the Highland MacDonald clan--a slaughter that took place during the campaign by King William III of England to subdue the fierce chiefs of Scotland. Roberson's latest is an under-two-flags (or under-two-plaids) romance between a MacDonald based on an actual figure and a fictional Campbell, a lad and lassie of warring clans. Catriona Campbell, daughter of the weak, hard-drinking laird of Glen Lyon, meets Alasdair ""Dair"" Og, a MacDonald and son of the mighty MacIain (described at one point as ""a massive Gael swathed in plaid and hostility""), when she is ten, during a parley between her family and the MacDonalds. Dair is kind to the fierce child, but she hates the MacDonalds: They are skilled cattle thieves (as are many of the clans) and sworn enemies of the Campbells. When grown, Cat pleads with her father for the life of Dair, caught during yet another MacDonald cattle raid. But as the forbidden love of Cat and Dair grows, tragedy looms. The proud, honorable Highlanders are tricked by the Earl of Breadalbane, a Campbell, and through the machinations of some Scots in high places and the silent acquiescence of King William, the MacDonalds--despite a last-minute submission to William by Maclain--are slaughtered. Cat and Dair, betrayed by her father (in the employ of the King), are parted and then, after the slaughter, tearfully reunited. If at first you dinna ken your MacDonalds, your Campbells, Stewarts, Camerons, etc., without a score card, struggle on; the Highlanders, striding on bare feet with their pride flapping, are a likable bunch, and the action is gey lively. With original documents and responsible research, well worth a Highland journey.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Kensington