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Monday, January 7, 2008

Review: The Warrior

by Kinley MacGregor

Lochlan MacAllister was born to lead. Ruthlessly groomed to take control of his clan, he has given his life to his people. But when he learns that the brother he thought was dead might still be alive, he embarks on a quest to find the truth.

Catarina wants a life of freedom. But now Catarina's royal father wants to use her as a pawn to ensure a treaty between conflicting lands. So much so that he's willing to kidnap his daughter to force the issue. But when she escapes, fate throws her into the path of a man she loathes.

Lochlan is stunned to find the shrewish Cat being hauled away by unknown men. Unwilling to see even her suffer, he frees her only to learn that she has her own demons to fight. When their fates intertwine, two people who know nothing of trust must rely on each other, and two enemies who have vowed their eternal hatred must find common ground, or see their very lives shattered.

This is one of the books I’ve been waiting years for. It’s the story of Lochlan MacAllister, the Laird of the clan MacAllister. His brothers, Braden, Sin, and Ewan, have already had their books written in the MacAllister series. I am curious why this book was listed as part of the Brotherhood of the Sword series instead. Many of the secondary characters in this book are members of the Brotherhood, but the main character is a MacAllister. Perhaps it’s not practical to put two series’ on the front cover.

Anyway, this is the story of Catarina, sometime gypsy and sometime French princess. She was introduced in an earlier book as a traveling companion to two of the members of the Brotherhood, Lysander and Pagan. She is sexy, feisty, proud, loving, and takes joy in every moment that she can. I loved the way she was written. She is a character to admire and be in awe of, but I also sympathized with her struggle to be free and live her own life.

Lochlan is burdened by the responsibility to his clan and the feelings of being responsible for his brother, Kieran’s suicide. But there is more proof that Kieran lived! Lochlan sets out to find him and instead finds himself protecting Catarina. Sparks fly. Tempers flare. It wasn’t unpredictable, but I enjoyed the flow of the story, just the same. I also enjoyed reading Lochlan’s emotional progression throughout this book, which was great.

There was only one tiny hiccup for me, and that happened in the epilogue, and was purely a point of personal preference, but if you read it, you’ll see what I mean. Some people I know will absolutely love the book more for the epilogue. Just personal taste, but I felt I had to mention it. By all means, please do NOT skip and read it first, though. It has a major spoiler, and not just the natural HEA.

It is a wonderful story that has great secondary characters – some known from earlier books and a few new ones. To experience the depth and some of the humor to the fullest, I would recommend reading earlier books in both the MacAllister and Bortherhood series’ – if for no other reason than they’re really fabulous books.

Reviewed by Aster


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