Wonderfully written! Ireland in 1172.
I was held spellbound by the developing relationship between landless Killian McDubhand, illegitimate son of the Rory O'Connor, the Irish High King and Taryn Connelly, a King's daughter, who has terrible facial scars. She has no memory of how she came to have the scars. The memories she does have centre around her brother being killed when thrown from his horse. Her father King Devlin has been imprisoned by the High King for treason and will be put to death. Taryn will risk all to rescue him.
When Killian looks at Taryn he sees a courageous striking woman, not a disfigured one, blemished beyond redemption. Taryn sees in Killian a fierce warrior with a tender heart, not a slave that sleeps amongst the dogs and horses.
Killian is part of an escort conveying his beloved adopted sister, Carice Faoilin to marriage with the High King. Something Carice is determined to avoid. Killian is part of a plot to assist with her escape. Taryn wants to confront the High King and have her father released. She is steps ahead of her mother, Queen Mauve and her knights, who are trying to detain her.
A plot twist that has the potential to play out for both women. Of course the path is never smooth.
Killian and Taryn's story is one of two strong willed people whose paths cross and with that crossing they are enjoined. Nothing will be the same. Hidden truths and unasked for realities create unlooked for twists that enhances the plots tension.
Willingham explains in her forward that this novel was influenced by Beauty and the Beast, with a hint of Jon Snow. In Warrior of Ice she has created a 'hero with a handsome face but the tormented soul of a beast and [a] heroine with a scarred face but the heart of a beauty.'
Walsingham's writing shows a maturity and a rich depth of understanding of people's experiences as it influences their relationships. There's action and romance to please.
A well balanced and a smooth read. Historical romance at its best.
A NetGalley ARC