*I really liked this book*
Welcome to twenty-seventh century post-apocalyptic Scotland. A land changed by nuclear war, where the only technology in the land is medically orientated — as decreed by the new leaders in the emergence, during the immediate aftermath of near-global destruction of the human race — all in order to kill just one ruler. Now, more than six-hundred years later, immortal beasts once again roam wild in the countryside; mighty princes battle for power and the common folk do their best to avoid being trampled in their wake.
Born of a forbidden coupling between the Albannach and Sasannach royal houses; Mòrag is destined to rule. But her birth right has been kept secret – even from her, and discovery of her royal blood could cost her life.
Mòrag is no ordinary girl. Her royal blood’s hidden talents begin to reveal themselves during her military training at Sruighlea Castle, and she is suddenly in a lot more trouble than she ever dreamed of.
Mòrag is about to enter a brutal world of conflict and turmoil which will challenge everything she knows and believes in.
Right, where do I begin? Before I list all the things I liked about this book, I have to say that I found the beginning of the book a bit difficult. It took me a while to get used to the unicorn idea and there was quite a lot going down in the first 20%. So, I read a couple of the other reviews and got some feedback and I was dreading the 15%-20% mark because that’s when things fell apart for some readers… I had the sweats thinking, I don’t want this book to go to shits, I don’t want this book to go to shits. 20% mark hit and I started to have trouble putting the book down. In fact, I finished the rest in one go. Last night.
- the idea of ‘familiars’. Animals, some more mythical than others, being bonded to their human and being able to communicate and protect each other was a really nice touch.
- Mórag… that girl… If I could marry her I would. She was kick-ass and kind, fair and witty. In fact, she is my favorite female character of all time. What about Mia from Nevernight, I hear you ask? Mia comes second. Mórag is just more my kind of girl. I love her. Proper ❤ her! And I’m kind of sad to see that Mórag isn’t the MC in the second book in the series? Oh noes… 😦
- Generals Steele, Marcs and Rozzen… Again- they’re in the ‘I Liked’ pile. While Steele has his faults, (hey, we’re all human) I think in the end he has a chance to redeem a lot of his misgivings and Rozzen- wow… She’s a woman that other women want to be! And all men want to do! Marcs… Has been through a lot and I ‘hear’ he ‘turns’ in the second book… I look forward to reading about that…
- I loved all the Scottish references… The bits of accents here and there. Gave the book a really cool, authentic feel to it. Minor issue here for me though- I would have loved to have had the ‘index’ of translations of words, phrases and place names at the beginning of the book. Would have helped get into the story a lot easier I think, especially in the case of an ebook.
- The fact that we’re in 27th centruy. The book wasn’t totally overblown with references to ‘modern yet post-apocalyptic’ items. Yes, there’s modern medicine but there’ also the healing power. Yes, there’s locomotive which gave me more of a steampunk feel… but the timeline of the story isn’t that much focused on these areas and that was alright with me.
- And finally… the romance. Yep, close your mouth or your heart will get cold. I said romance. I thought it was beautiful. Maybe it was the alignment of the stars or the Moon being in certain position to my constellation or something but I was rooting for Mórag and Brax from the very beginning… I just knew those two were on the road to becoming more. What made their relationship so lovely for me was the fact that Brax hasn’t been dealt the best hand in life. In fact, he’s been dealt a pretty darned shit hand in life and Mórag with her inner determination and principles compliments him so well. I loved that this wasn’t a case of ‘insta-love’ and that the two were fighting their own demons along the way as their friendship blossomed.
- The writing was brilliant by Karen Gray. Every character was easily distinguishable with their own voice, their own personality. I loved the bits of witty banter in some dialogue and I really have no complaints.
Overall, I loved this book. It was adventurous, interesting and entertaining. I will give it a nice shiny 5 stars and will spend the rest of my day reading Book #2. That’s right, last night when I finished book 1 I went to Amazon without wasting time and got the next ones in the series. This means… Sorry, Other Books in the review queue… You’ll have to give me a break for a couple of days while I read the ‘Yours Truly’ choice… But you know how it goes… I just need to know what happens… If I don’t then you as the Other Book, won’t get my undivided attention… It’s like your husband or wife making love to you in a half arsed way because they’re thinking of the neighbor next door or the ‘wet dream’ they met on a bus, and later on say- “Yeah, you did great, dahlin'” rather than feeling mindblown. So, hang in there while my brain skips around in the very wonderful Scotland!