Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Guardian by Margaret Mallory

Title/Author: The Guardian by Margaret Mallory
Publisher/Date published: Forever, May 1st 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Four young Highlanders - Connor, Ian, Alex and Duncan - hurry home from France after hearing news of the disastrous Battle of Flodden against Henry VIII's forces. With his father among the dead, Connor must take his place as chieftain. Before he can lead his clan through the perilous times ahead, however, he must first dislodge the usurper who has taken his family's castle and claimed leadership of the clan.
Connor's cousins and best friend, Ian, Alex and Duncan, will stand shoulder to shoulder with him in every fight. They are willing to give their lives for their clan and their new chieftain. But taking wives to serve the clan's interests is a different matter altogether..."

I really need to get something out first: the cover? Not a fan. Really. This cover makes me thankful for e-readers.

Anyway, onto the book itself. The story centers around Sìleas and Ian, who have known each other since they were little. Due to an unfortunate event and huge overreacting by Ian's father, they are forced to marry at a tender age: Sìleas is 13 at the time. After this, Ian leaves to fight in France and doesn't come back until 5 years have passed, leaving Sìleas behind with the shame of being abandoned by her husband. Ian finds out a lot can change in 5 years.

I had some issues with this book. First off, the name Sìleas, supposed to be pronounced as SHEE-las according to the author, threw me off everytime cause I needed to repronounce what I read in my head if that makes sense. And the accent. I get why it's there, but it made me connect less to the characters and slowed my reading down considerably.

I liked Sìleas as a character, as well as Ian. Sìleas is a kindhearted, brave young woman and Ian seems to be a caring and loyal man. Very nice qualities in a character in my opinion.
There was however the slight problem I had of them together. First off, Ian doesn't want to marry her because she's not a beauty at 13 (and well yeah, he's being forced to) and then at 18, when she's grown into her skin, he suddenly wants nothing more than to be her husband? I know they have history because they grew up together, but this did bother me.
I also thought it was pretty unlikely that Ian was the only one who didn't recognize her after their return, since they were close before he left.

I liked that the story wasn't just some scene to set their romance against, something real was going on and I enjoyed reading about it. I also really liked Alex and Ian's little brother, they were interesting characters.

My rating: 3 stars

1 comment:

  1. I love Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, but surprisingly I haven't tried a Scottish romance yet. I think Gabaldon does Scottish history so well (and I love the accents!) that I'm afraid it just wouldn't be as good in a romance. I am tempted to try this out though, just to compare how the authors writes the accent!

    And you're right, that's a godawful cover!