For readers of Sara Donati and Diana Gabaldon, this epic historical romance tells of fateful love between an indentured Scotsman and a daughter of the 18th century colonial south.
When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy–exile to the Colony of North Carolina–he’s indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey’s slaves–and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant’s heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith. As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerate preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees. Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he’s faced with the choice that’s long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex’s very life.
The Formal Stuff:
Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah for my complimentary electronic Uncorrected Proof of The King’s Mercy.
Let’s see: Scotland, Revolution, and Rebellion… that sounded like a good combination to me. Plus, I’ve got ancestors buried at Culloden.
Lori Benton is still a new-to-me author, as I’ve only read her previous novel before coming to The King’s Mercy. I really enjoyed Many Sparrows, and that was a deciding factor in choosing to read Benton’s newest release. A rebellious Scot prior to the Revolutionary War signaled to me a possible Culloden connection, and in this I was correct. The King’s Mercy starts with a brutal description of the battle from the perspective of the losing Jacobites. I couldn’t help being drawn in to the narrative through these opening pages.
The King’s Mercy is one of the best books I’ve read this year. The plot is thrilling and the characters are vivid. The suspense builds gradually, and my heart was in my mouth when the true evil was revealed. Alex and Joanna learn valuable lessons in terms of who they can trust, but those lessons come at a cost. Those familiar with the Pauline letters of the New Testament will spot similarities in the narrative. The itinerant pastor and his young convert are named after the Apostle Paul and his young companion. The postscript letter is not unlike Paul’s letter to Philemon.
Do you plan to read The King’s Mercy? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: WaterbrookMultnomah (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
Publication Date: 04 June 2019
Page Count: 416