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A Thistle in the Mist Kindle Edition
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The tale begins with the fiesty Meara MacDonald frisking about the Isle of Skye in Scotland. With the appearance of sinister family members, her world quickly crumbles as her mother is murdered and she loses the rest of her family.
Cramming her story with betrayal, deception, tragedy, danger and true love, Denby is a master storyteller.
The supernatural element was an added bonus that I adored.
Bottom line? This is a well-crafted book! You will find your self running a gamut of emotions with the shockingly, lush cast of characters.
I can't wait to dig into the sequel.
Writer Megan Denby created an entire world in this novel, which I felt privileged to visit. From the start of the book, I was fascinated by time and place, and in particular the language of the Scots. What a lovely lilt that Scottish burr is! What fun it was to meet Meara as she sings a song written by the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns. Of course, she calls him Rabbie Burns! Don't you simply love it when a writer knows her stuff? Yes, I'm one of those who checks. And Denby knows what she is talking about. From the colors of the MacDonald tartan to the claret our heroine's father drinks. While I think of Scotland as being famous for its single malts, in the eighteen hundreds claret was as common a drink as milk.
As our heroine Meara goes from a carefree life at Duntulm Castle to heartbreak, sweet Duncan tells her, "Ah, lass, if I could take away the hurtin', ye ken I would." You got to love a sweet laddie like him! As Meara has to fight for her life alone while her man is away fighting Napoleon, she is sustained by Duncan's love.
Will our sweet lassie get her hunk of a laddie in the end? Take the journey with Meara, Duncan and all the characters author Denby brings alive on the page. It's well worth the trip.
The story delivers dramatic and tense moments from the perspective of the feisty and loyal Meara in the first person. Dialogue and action balance well as the story develops, and Denby handles erotic sequences expertly. I found myself turning pages to find out what would happen next, and I'm happy to report that this book lends itself well to a sequel.
For your information, Denby composes her characters' dialogue in the Scottish dialect, and that forced me to slow my reading in order to "hear" the characters, but the narrator uses standard English.
Megan Denby has successfully crafted a highly despicable set of antagonists in Deirdre and her twisted brother Sloan, but our protagonist (Meara) is a worthy opponent.
Reviewed by Chaunce Stanton
Author of The Blank Slate Boarding House for Creatives: A Tale of Magic, Manners, and Scandal
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