Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Untamed Highlander: Dark Sword, #4 by Donna Grant
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Thinking they had finally rid the world of the great evilness that was Deirdre, Warriors Hayden Campbell and Fallon MacLeod are searching the area around Cairn Toul looking for survivors of the last battle. It seems to be a lost cause when Hayden comes upon a grievously wounded young woman. Determined to save this woman that he feels a compelling attraction to, Hayden brings her to the MacLeod castle for healing. It is there that Hayden discovers his foundling is none other than Isla, the Drough that aided Deirdre in capturing Warriors and Druids to be tortured, killed or turned to Deirdre’s underlings. Hayden despises Droughs and has sworn an oath to kill as many as he comes across. It was a Drough that wiped out his entire family. He should have left her on the mountain to die, but the MacLeods and their friends are determined to save Isla and possibly bring her to their side. Hayden is torn, he wants the little Drough but she is his hated enemy.
This is one of my favorite Highlander series, although they don’t all wear kilts, the heroes in this series are all possessed by ancient gods and have the ability to transform into these fearsome beings. Mmmm. Hayden is extra special because he’s a big blonde with a brogue. Yum, but he’s also really damaged and has a HUGE prejudice against Drough druids. Perhaps somewhat justified, but it presents a major stumbling block for his fledgling feelings for Isla. (for some strange reason I’m very alliterative today) I had problems developing sympathy for Isla. She has done some truly tremendously terrible things under the aegis of her captor and master Deirdre. Yes, she had reasons and she regretted her actions, but still, I’m talking Hitleresque horrible. (I’m sorry, I can’t turn it off). Luckily the other warriors and their women are much more tolerant than Hayden and myself, offering their friendship and protection. As with all things, I’m about balance and redemption. Redemption can only be had when a like and just payment has been proffered. I just couldn’t wrap my head around how one poor druid could make recompense for such heinous acts. She does her best, though and by the end, I was pulling for her.
Hayden was a sneaky warrior in his story. He thought he could act all cold and aloof towards Isla during the day and then pop in for a little bedtime snack. I cry foul on that. Bad Highlander, bad! Either you forgive her or you don't, no taksies backsies! I take these warriors and their ongoing tales very personally because I've followed the series since it's inception, and when one of them acts poorly, I feel it is my duty to rap a knuckle or two. New avenues for the continuation of this wonderfully romantic and addictive series continue to pop up through each book. I'm really, REALLY needing for someone to put the final smackdown on Deirdre and her nasty little yellow minions. If you haven't started this series yet, you are missing out on some really good reading material. I just love these warriors and their chosen mates, I bet you will too.