The Bruised Thistle


Iseabail and her brothers, Iain and Colum, are orphans and heirs to their clan lands, but are under the brutal rule of their lecherous uncle. Running away to find help to stand against him, Iseabail and Colum hide, not knowing who to trust; their uncle has labelled them murderers and put a price on their heads. Seumus is a Crusader, whose near death in the Holy Land has caused him to question his own honor and purpose in life. When Iseabail asks his help he questions if he the right one for them but agrees. Could this be his salvation?


Set in 1149 Scotland, Iseabail journeys to find help in a land still ravaged by the plague. How dangerous it was then for a woman is disturbingly perfect. The villain is more typical to history than readers may be comfortable with, but life was more brutal than we like to believe. There are so many historical inaccuracies, it injured the credibility of the storyline. Kilts were not worn then, neither were breeches; a two day journey meant they were your neighbors, not strangers whose name you don’t recognize; and there’s more than a few days travel between the Highlands and the Lowlands. These glitches may cause the reader to question the validity of Crusade details used, which are integral to the hero’s backstory. Iseabail gets her help, Seumas finds redemption, and the happily ended story ends with a cliffhanger. Still, the writing is clear and tight, the characters believable, and the accents are written well, which succeeds in making the overall story quite a good read. 


Julie York