- File Size: 1137 KB
- Print Length: 401 pages
- Publisher: Zebra; 1 edition (May 21, 2010)
- Publication Date: June 1, 2010
- Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003KN3JT8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,303 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
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The Irish Warrior Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Admittedly, I don't normally read medievals. I'm not much into violence or political intrigue in my romances. That said, last year I read an excerpt from The Irish Warrior and was champing at the bit the read the rest.
The story begins with some violence. Okay, perhaps a lot of violence. Our hero, Finian O'Melaghlin, an Irish noble, warrior, and chief to the O'Fail king, is being tortured by Rardove, an English lord who is evil with a capital E. Rardove wants to use Finian to secure documents, a blueprint to create the Wishmés dyes. These legendary dyes have the power of chemical weaponry. The side who possesses them would be indestructible. Rardove wants them. Finian is out to make sure he never gets them.
Our heroine, Senna de Valery, arrives in Ireland to meet with Rardove to finalize a deal for her wool business. What she finds instead is Rardove intent on marrying her and utilizing the gift he believes she inherited from her mother, who was a Wishmés dye witch (as they called them). This is not what Senna came for so she refuses him and is quickly and violently shown that no one refuses Rardove.
Desperate, after seeing Finian shackled and sharing a silent potent exchange with him, she connives by drugging Rardove and the prison guards, escaping with Finian, whom she needs as a guide in this unfamiliar land.
But on the run, they are wanted fugitives with bounties on their head, for Rardove will stop at nothing to get Senna back. Their flight from Rardove is both taut with sexual tension as well as breath-stealing suspense. They have to evade Rardove's men, English soldiers and anyone else who might be inclined to turn them in. I have to say my heart was in my throat half the time and the other half the time, I was literally swooning at the hotter than hot love scenes. These love scenes are only part of the reason that Finian is a HERO TO DIE FOR!
In one of the more light-hearted moments of the book, Senna and Finian hide out in a brothel is a village where one of Rardove's men just announced a bounty on their head and then proceeds to lock the gates to the village (locking them inside). There, in the brothel, the woman are complaining that the men use their services and then leave without paying. Senna intervenes and proceeds to instruct the woman in the matters of shrewd commerce.
"And this business of collecting payment after the service is rendered...?" Senna shook her head sagely. "That is a poor practice indeed. You collect beforehand. In your business--not that I know much of it," she added quickly, "but I've a brother and a father, and I know them rather well. You simply cannot expect their assessment of the value of the goods...to remain as high after they have ...sampled."
I read the last fifty pages of the book with my heart in my throat, I swear to you. It's been awhile since I've gotten emotional like that over a book. I think the last time was when I was reading Stephen King's Misery and Annie (the crazy antagonist) was chopping of the protagonist's foot. I was in complete agony! And my goodness, if I wasn't already crazy in love with Finian then (which I was), I fell fathoms deep in love with him then. I swear he's the kind of hero we need to find a way to bring to life. I've reread the end countless times just so I can swoon over him again and again and again.
It's hard to believe this is only Kris Kennedy's second book. She is one medieval author who's managed to make this reader, who was never very partial to medievals, into one that will pick up any medieval--any book--with her name on it. I'm eagerly anticipating her next book (I pray it's about Senna's brother) and getting a physical copy of this one for my keeper shelf. :)
And did it live up to expectation? Oh yes! And then some. It is definitely a historical romance, but there was also a slight fantasy twist and a large dose of intrigue. As I advanced through the book, mysteries were answered as more were revealed. People were not always what they seemed.
The story begins with an English baron, Lord Rardove, who holds lands in conquered Ireland trying to exact answers the hard way from the leader of some Irish captives, Finian O'Melaghlin. The Irish leader refuses him and they play a little cat-mouse trying to figure out what the other knows.
Then the story shifts to a loan English woman, Senna, coming to see this same Lord Rardove about investing in some of her prize sheep and the wool industry.
Unbeknownst to her, she is the pawn in a far greater scheme. Everyone is after the recipe process to the secret dies created from the legendary Wishme mussels. The dye formula not only creates the most spectacular wool cloth, but it can be worked to create a powerful explosive weapon. Senna just happens to be the last in a long line of dye witches capable of creating the Wishme dyes.
Senna learns of her fate as soon as she arrives at Lord Rardove's castle. His cruelty toward her is secondary to the dread of learning he plans to force her to marry him and force her to make the dyes. Senna is fiery and brave, but she knows that he will have his way if she does not escape. She is ignorant of Ireland so makes the decision to free the handsome and courageous Irishman who wordlessly encouraged her and tried to come to her defense.
Finian and Senna escape and that is when the true adventure begins. They both have separate agendas, but Senna must rely on Finian. One harrowing moment after another mixed with one passionate moment after another bring the story to its exciting conclusion.
As I said before, I found the plot a very exciting read. Even having Senna, Finian, Will, and Rardove's point of view thoughts, there were still so many surprises. I love mystery, romance, history, and intrigue. It was all there. The descriptions of the settings were very well done. There was a historical feel without the heavier detail of a straight historical fiction. The only bit of description that got a little nauseating was the many times over description from Senna's perspective of Finian's fantastic physical traits. This was mostly during the first part of the book, but I really did get it after the first time that Finian had rippling muscles, strong thighs, and washboard abs. :D Okay, now I'm wondering why the repetition was annoying to me.
The characters were well drawn even the secondary ones. I am partial to Senna's younger brother, Will, who has a small secondary plot thread. Rardove's seneschal was a mysterious character that I enjoyed finally learning what was up with him. The main characters were exciting people that were well matched both opposite in their outlook, but alike in matters of the heart and shared sorrow for the past.
I enjoyed the pace of the story. The growth in Senna- she was no instant 'she warrior woman' and the budding romance between the two main characters was realistic. The action and passion were faster paced with moments of reflection.
Recommend for a nice historic romantic adventure!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Everything I love to read in an Historical...Kris Kennedy just gets it. I loved the theme of the story which centers around old legends of a dyeing...Read more
Oh my god I love this book (had read 6 paragraphs),
Finian is awesome,
and the fight in Senna is...Read more