There’s not a dull moment for this fantasy’s protagonist—no matter whose daughter she is.



A young woman must prove her noble lineage in order to break a curse in the second installment of Edwards’ (The Farrier’s Daughter, 2014) fantasy/romance series.

After fleeing Castle O’Brien, Alainn wanders the streets of Galway. Though she’s secretly pregnant, openly brokenhearted, and wholly uncertain about what to do next, she’s convinced that she had to leave her lover, Killian, so he could fulfill his destiny to become a great leader. But Killian convinces her to come home and marry him despite the fact that he’s betrothed to another woman—a suitably upper-class and surprisingly likable Scottish lass. Back at Castle O’Brien, Killian’s uncle, the clan’s malevolent and all-powerful chief, forbids a union between his nephew and Alainn. He also knows about her supernatural powers, which must be protected from the grasp of dark spirits, but he promises to leave her alone if she marries another man. As their respective wedding days approach, Alainn and Killian, both hotheaded and sharp-tongued, spar over a misunderstanding. Meanwhile, her friends soon notice that she’s expecting a child. Lady Siobhan, Killian’s kindly aunt, also realizes that Alainn has an uncanny resemblance to the members of her own noble family. Despite the young heroine’s many positive qualities, including unparalleled beauty, intellect, and magical powers including mind-reading and controlling the weather, Edwards shows that she’s also driven by passion rather than logic. This tendency makes Alainn rather slow to comprehend solutions to her problems, such as a curse that’s plagued the O’Brien family for decades. As a result, readers will likely see where the story is going long before its protagonist does, but it’s an action-packed page-turner nonetheless. Alainn and Killian’s sexy romance, as described here, is worth fighting for, even if their dialogue is often over-the-top; for example, while admiring a scenic view, she tells him, in all seriousness, “I have never beheld such an astounding, impressive sight. Apart from seeing you unclothed, of course.” Although it’s set in Ireland during its tumultuous 16th century, this book is more of a romance than a historical. It touches on elements such as Henry VIII and his wives and the impending British conquest, but it does so only in passing.

There’s not a dull moment for this fantasy’s protagonist—no matter whose daughter she is.

Pub Date: July 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-1460208731

Page Count: 200

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2015

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A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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