Wednesday, December 14, 2011

E-Book Review: "Highlander Series: Anna, Rachel & Charlet" by Marti Talbott

I read this book because I love the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. This one is straight historical fiction with no time travel involved. It's a formula historical romance; I mean that in a good way. Historical romance has rules and this author sticks to them. While it is nowhere close to as sexy as the Jamie and Claire books, it is romantic and sensuous in an old-fashioned kind of way that I found fit well with both the tone and the subject matter. The good men are swaggering, swashbuckling blue eyed Scots, the bad guys are cruel and despicable Englishmen. The women are all gorgeous and intermittently endangered. The good characters are people the reader can connect with and care about, and the "bad guys" are people you can loathe and despise and want to see tarred and feathered.

This is the first in a very long series that ultimately appears to span generations. This one sets the stage for the entire saga. Anna (an Englishwoman who is the love of the life of the King of England) marries the Laird of the MacGregor clan in the Scottish Highlands.  Rachel is her daughter, a beautiful and strong woman who marries her father's second-in-command (I have the impression that when her father dies, things will get very interesting).  Charlet, the niece of the King of England, and the rightful heir to the English throne, is sent to the MacGregors when she is a baby for her safety (sort of like Sleeping Beauty). Her cousin, a nephew of the king and second in line for the throne, attempts to kill her in order to become king. The clans interrupt their normal internecine squabbling in order to protect Charlet from the English.

It is a good story all by itself. The reader could quit with this one and call it a satisfactory reading experience.  But, it's a series, so, of course, it ends a hook that points to the next book. (I'm debating about whether or not I'm prepared to commit to such a long series.)

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