Morag McGregor is sent to Scottish Court by her father in hopes that she will make a match or, at least, dampen her desire to get revenge on her neighbour, the Campbells. In a setting tense with religious and political strife will Morag sate her desire for revenge and return to her secret love who is waiting at home?
I received this book for review from the Book Club Reviewer Facebook group.
Highland Lioness is the fourth book in the Highland Ballad Series
I have not read any of the previous three books in the Highland Ballad Series and believe that this is the first book I’ve read by Kristin Gleeson and to be quite honest, I did not have high hopes for Highland Lioness in meeting Morag and she and her co-conspirators were lying in wait to sabotage the Campbell’s cattle. First impression was that she was going to be one of these borderline compulsive characters that would careen brainlessly from scrape to scrape until someone “tamed” her completely discounting the historical context of how dangerous a spirited woman might be (especially unmarried) to her own continued health and future. Lets not forget there was a time that women were institutionalized for reading. Gleeson sets the stage well so we know that, at some point, this kid is going to be smacked down and we get that right off of the bat when her brother steps in to command her future path with the help of their father as she’s already gone too far in their eyes.
Morag begins to take life when we see her with her father. She is young and innocent and very convinced of her position. She reaches to her sister in law for support but she is very aware of her place in society and is just scared. We are given a very real teenager who knows her family has been wronged and is determined to even the score though she may be temporarily roadblocked with the court. She will align herself with whoever she needs to in order to achieve her goal.
Gleeson’s style is very descriptive. Readers will feel that they have a look into Scotland of the day. The culture and clothing are described with a deft hand in a way that does not weigh down the narrative. The Scottish Highlands are painted with a loving hand by the author and are vivid for readers in a very similar way to MC Beaton’s Hamish MacBeth series though that series is set in modern times. The description of Stirling Castle is vivid and impressive and readers get a sense of it’s dominance over the landscape. Mr. Rabid Readers and I watched a documentary about Edenborough Castle a few weeks ago which led me to research if Stirling Castle is fictional. It is not fictional and it looks amazing. Approximately 40 kilometers from Edenborough Castle, it is also built on a cliff made of volcanic rock. Certainly a magnificent and impressive place which can still be toured but is currently closed due to COVID.
Highland Lioness is a good read but not classic fiction though the author is clearly familiar with the classics. Well-read readers will recognize the works that inspire Kristin Gleeson.
If you enjoy romance and intrigue, Highland Lioness is the book for you. I have no plans to run out and buy the preceding novels in the series but, had I more time in my day, might be tempted.
Read an excerpt and buy Highland Lioness: A Highland Romance of Tudor Scotland (The Highland Ballad Series Book 4) by Kristin Gleesonon
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