The Highland Queen by Karen Gray (SOTAR Book #4)

The Saga of Thistles and Roses continues! To celebrate the release of The Highland Queen,  3 – Dec – 2016 is one good day for an interested bookworm because Books #1-3 are available for free! Grab ’em while you can!

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Book #1- For King and Country was recommended to me by Anne at InkedBrownies and man did I love that book! 27th Century Scotland with lot of animal to human connection and swordfighting…Strong female character Mórag who managed to knock Nevernight’s Mia off first place! Just.Simply.Loved.It. Book#1 made me feel like I was a child exploring the world…

Mòrag is about to enter a brutal world of conflict and turmoil which will challenge everything she knows and believes in.

Goodreads ¦ Amazon UK ¦ USA

What followed was my binge on Books 2 and 3…

Book #2- Chains of Blood and Steel was equally mind blowing, so many twists and action and characters who were struggling with their personal demons. The relationship dynamics and some very current and realistic challenges/obstacles for some of the characters kept the continuation of the series swift and solidified my connection with them.

The Spymaster’s daughter struggles to deal with her abusive father, hiding a secret she is prepared to take to the grave; while John, who’s life has been a lie, discovers the truth about himself through Ava. Brought together by a chance encounter, they work together to break the chains of blood and steel that imprison them.

Goodreads ¦ Amazon UK ¦ USA

Book #3- Battle of the Bannockburn ripped me to pieces and left me gasping for more. Anguish, death, small victories, big losses.

Edward has assumed control of Sasann and proclaimed himself King, and with the Devil’s Dog back under the controlling hand of his master, no one dares challenge him.

Goodreads ¦ Amazon UK ¦ USA

And now… here we are… Book #4- The Highland Queen…I read the book a couple of weeks ago and honestly- I could not wait for the release day so I could pop my review out here for you!  Goodreads ¦ Amazon UK ¦ USA

*A word of warning here to interested readers of the series, if you haven’t read Books 1-3 yet, you may want to skip reading this review now. The books are full of so many surprises and they are each so unexpected and great that I wouldn’t want to ruin the experience for you. Bye!* 😀

33226470We rejoin Mòrag and her companions in their flight from the Bannockburn battlefield. Her people are scattered and wounded. Many have been imprisoned and many more have been put to death and she — along with the surviving members of her group — are headed deep into the highlands of Alba under the blanketing safety of Alba’s artificial winter.

Mòrag, still wounded from the border breach and exhausted by the use of Rhona’s blood-charm is struggling to retain control — worsened still by the capture of her Berserker Guard.

The Mackenzie clan play host to the Bhanrigh in their highland stronghold of Eilean Donnain, where for the time being, they reside in relative safety. But that safety can only last so long… The highland clans continue raiding and bickering amongst themselves, and Edward’s ever oppressive forces resident in Sruighlea pose a constant threat.

Mòrag can only hope that she will regain enough strength to be able to unite the opposing clans of the highlands under one banner if she is to have any chance of success against her father.

This series just keeps getting better and better for me… the suspense is high. It’s high, since the very first book. The Highland Queen is only just published and I cannot wait to get my mitts of Book 5 to continue with this epic fantasy. FYI- I received an ARC of this book directly from the author in exchange for an honest review and believe you me, I do not lie when I tell you I love this series!

The Highland Queen starts off right where Book #3 ended. No gaps, no ‘figure it out yourself’, just continue on high speed, all systems go and with the series so far I feel like I’m left gasping for air after each new sweet and scary and shocking revelation. No one is safe, no one is perfect and you never know who’ll surprise your socks off next. And Scotland… is far from peace yet!

To keep from spoilering, I would just like to pay my compliments to the author in continuing to write such a captivating series. Yes, fantasy may not be for everyone. Yes, the 27th Century post apocalyptic may not be for everyone. Yes, the ‘mind reading’, the animal familiars may sound like not your cup of tea? However, if you like to be at the edge of your seat, much like I do, while reading, then I recommend this series. Go into it with an open mind and I promise you tons of nailbiting scenes.

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The characters in this book are seriously strong, the good and evil alike and there are many characters throughout the series! They are all distinctive with their unique backgrounds and personalities. It can be a risk sometimes in books to have too many characters, but in this case it seems to be one of those plus sides. Each and every character keeps the story progressing and the things they do are never small or unimportant.

The Highland Queen managed to make me cry. The anguish factor of a certain event was so darned heartbreaking I grabbed for Kleenex. Just to make a point- it was around one of the characters who doesn’t get much spotlight, but the short interaction that included them was enough to make me feel attached and that, to me, is a sign of good writing. The emotion is poured into each and every page. Make no mistake though- while there are emotionally draining scenes, there is also revenge and rage and it made my heart beat faster with expectation.

The world building has given my brain a lot of activity. The book(s) have kept me busy and engaged and while  Books 1-3 have that vibe of ‘otherworldly’ about them what with animalistic familiars (horses, unicorns, a Russian cat!, wolves, etc etc), in Book 4 the divine element is introduced and the Necromancers! The Necromancers in this book were different to what I am used to reading in fantasy books but my, talk about using the potential! [insert me waiting for Book 5 already… ]

Overallthis book, and the whole series, is full of possibilities, full of ‘magical’ elements as well as real life struggles. The sky is the limit which covers the full spectrum of emotions waiting to capture the reader. Be it love, loss, hate, hope, victory or defeat, life or death… It’s all there and it has me hooked. 5 fabulous addicted stars!

Karen Gray on Goodreads ¦ Website ¦ Twitter

 

28 comments

  1. Gads lassie I just squee’d the whole way through reading that!!!! (Now even more excited — didn’t think that was possible) I am so SOOOO glad you enjoyed this one (and of course the others) THANK YOU so much for this amazing review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I did not resist. Books 1-3 are now on my Kindle 😀 Thank you 😘😍 What’s not to love in a 27th Century post apocalyptic well-built world with strong characters? I’m too curious to miss out on this!!!

    Liked by 2 people

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