Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Saint by Monica McCarty

The Saint by Monica McCarty
The Highland Guard Series, Book 5
Publisher: Ballantine Books(March 2012)
448 pages, eBook (purchased myself for $7.99)
Book Rating: 3 Stars
Sensuality: Red Heart

Magnus and his childhood sweetheart, Helen, were parted by clan feud, pride and misunderstanding, only to see her years later betrothed to his best friend. But, tragedy brought them together again, and Magnus, so overshadowed by the past, struggled to fulfill the promise he made to his friend. It was really hard to like Magnus here. I don't know how Helen put up with him or continued in her optimism, but it is clear she is the one deserving of the title, The Saint, not Magnus. Magnus was cold, stubborn, bitter and unforgiving the whole way, and it wasn't until the end when he actually started to fight for Helen that I started to like him a bit. Helen's naive optimism and self-sacrificing determination to win Magnus back was pathetic and demeaning at times, though she had moments of great strength as well and in that she really shined. There was a second story line between Helen's brother, Will, and the healer, Muriel, and though I found it interesting and in many ways paralleled Helen's story, I found it for the most part depressing. And poor William Gordon (Templar), he sure got the short end of the stick here, and I felt sad for him as well. However, I liked the idea of a female medic joining the men in battle/missions, and thought Helen's skills and presence of mind in protecting and caring for the King in the midst of battle, brought an interesting new element to the fighting, that I really liked. The next book in this series is The Recruit, about Helen's brother, Kenneth.

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