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King of Storms    by Amanda Scott order for
King of Storms
by Amanda Scott
Order:  USA  Can
Forever, 2007 (2007)

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* *   Reviewed by Rheta Van Winkle

King of Storms is packed with historical information about late fourteenth century Scotland, but the story moves at a fast pace and facts take a back seat to the difficulties of Lady Sidony Macleod and Knight Templar Sir Giffard Maclennan. Sidony is a sweet, quiet girl of nineteen with six older sisters, all of whom are strong, outspoken women married to equally strong men who are mostly intimidating to Sidony. The youngest member of her family, she has always been the retiring one, sitting quietly next to the fire working on her needlework while her sisters discuss worldly topics. Now and then she followed older sister Sorcha into scrapes, but those were never her idea. She loved her older sisters and wanted to be with them, even when they were taking chances.

Now, however, Sidony finds that she no longer enjoys being told what to do all the time. She begins to take baby steps toward independence, not an easy task in 1381 Scotland. At first, she takes a walk by herself, is loaned a fishing rod by a friendly gardener, and finds herself catching quite a nice salmon all by herself. As she walks back to her sister's house, she loses her way and is found by Sir Giffard, or Giff, who is on his way to visit her brothers-in-law. This is just the beginning of her escapades and adventures, and by the second half of the book, these become exciting indeed, as she travels on a small sailing vessel being pursued through stormy waters by men whose evil intentions don't become evident until late in the story. On the way Sidony and Giff become better acquainted, and the calm, placid girl finds herself strangely drawn to the wild, undisciplined adventurer. Giff finds himself feeling protective toward her and doesn't really understand his own feelings, either.

Although the first half of the book moved along at a stately pace, it was difficult to put the book down after that. There are many perilous moments at sea for the characters we come to care about and surprises in store right up to the end of the book. Those who have enjoyed the previous books in this series will enjoy the story of the last sister in the family, but the book is equally enjoyable for those who, like this reader, have never read a Scottish romance before.

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