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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

...delightful plunder!

Conqueror's Kiss by Hannah Howell  

Jennet Graeme is a delightful character, spunky and abrasive, not at all subdued by her violent history. When Sir Hacon Gillard drags her from a convent and claims her as plunder during the sack of Berwick she rises to the challenge and Havon finds himself with a delightful armful of spitting kitten that continues to give him more grief than he had even conceived. 
Trapped in the Scottish wars, Jennet is just one more causality in the battle of kings and conquests in the Scotland of1318.
This re-release of Howell's novel is a treat for those of us who never met her early novels.
I enjoyed Jennet's feistiness, Hacon's inherent understanding and goodness, the battles between the two of them, and the loyalty of the various secondary characters, including Jennet's father. 
Of course there's a decided dastardly foe. One whom Jennet has good cause to remember, and one who Hacon knows is a treacherous enemy.
A story told through Jennet's eyes and from the woman's perspective, this is a very human telling of the Scottish wars and it's effect not so much on the higher nobility but on the lesser clans and the ordinary people, with a glimpse into the internal politics of the Scottish court.

A NetGalley ARC


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