Friday, March 14, 2008

A Restless Knight


Book: A Restless Knight
Author: Deborah Macgillivary
Category: Historical, Paranormal
Grade: C-
As proud and defiant as her Pict blood, Tamlyn so wants to resist her enemy, the enemy of her people, with every weapon at her disposal. Only she is nearly torn in two by what she perceives as her duty and the burning passions evoked by the ruthless English earl.

To the war-weary Black Dragon, the charter to Glen Shane is an opportunity to be seized hungrily. Julian views this as his last hope for peace & for sanity. Too long with Edward and his endless bloody wars, Julian is so very afraid he's coming apart inside. Nearly crippled by the dark memory of the English's Sack of Berwick, he hopes this moody, forgotten glen in a pocket of the Scottish Highlands will grant him the tranquility for which his soul thirsts.

Only, his yearning for hearthside, sons and a quiet existence has not taken into account the woman he is forced to accept as lady wife. A woman of Pict warrior-blood, so steeped in traditions of Alba of Auld, she 's too rebellious by half and quite possibly a witch.


A Restless Knight starts out promising. The heroine, Tamlyn MacShane, holds the title to her own land in the Highlands of Scotland where the pagan ways are honored. She is a strong and interesting character. The hero, an Englishman, Julian Challon (The Black Dragon), has made his way to Tamlyn’s land. He is under orders of King Edward to take the land that rests in the hands of the three MacShane sisters. Julian decides before he makes it to the MacShane lands that he will also be taking Lady Tamlyn of Glenrogha, as his wife.

The chemistry between Tamlyn and Julian heats up the pages from their first meeting. Both are drawn to the other and find it hard to resist the spark that lies between them. But in spite of that spark there is still a great deal of push/pull. Julian immediately mistakes Tamlyn as a whore of Lord MacShane, her father. Of course Tamlyn does not know this and after finding out that Julian has come to take MacShane land she keeps her identity hidden, choosing to go by "Fool" than to reveal who she really is. Julian decides that even though he plans to marry Tamlyn MacShane he will still keep the woman who he knows only as “Fool” as his mistress. His "Fool" will bare his children and be his side honey. :(

Well, of course, both truths come out and from there I was sure that the story would take off. Only, it didn’t. The push and pull just kept going and going... This is the point where the promising beginning goes out the window, becoming replaced by an endless story with a frivolous plot.

While Tamlyn is busy resisting Julian the plot begins to transpire, but it was weak and easily overshadowed by Julian and Tamlyn’s back and forth. Which, by halfway through the book, had become redundant.

I found much of the writing to be repetitive. The conversations and musings were constantly about the same things: how much Julian wanted Tamlyn, and how much Tamlyn wanted to resist. The internal thoughts of the characters didn't change until about mid way through the book, but by then the story had lost its luster.

One of the reasons I picked this book to read is because I was in the mood for a paranormal romance. The problem I found with A Restless Knight was that the paranormal elements were confusing. There were points in the book where the pagan ways made sense and other points where I was scratching my head about them. There were also times where the stream of explanation of a pagan event would go on and on, at these points I found myself skimming passage after passage.

I did hold out hope, as I turned each new page, that something more would happen, that an event would come along to kick the story into high gear. I did this because A Restless Knight has the constant feel that there is something big on the horizon, unfortunately, it never comes.

Most of the story is spent with Julian and Tamlyn dancing around each other:

"You will give in."

"No, I will not."

"But you will."

"Never."

"Oh, yes."

Okay, so that's not verbatim, but you get my drift. Then, when they finally do give in to their undying love, the story became even more mundane.

Not that the whole book was a disappointment, I did enjoy Tamlyn. Julian was a very Alpha, "You will bear my children," type of guy. But I didn't fault him for that because he had his own charm. You would think, with a great hero and heroine that the book would be a hit, right? Not this time.

After finishing this book I went over to Amazon to check the reviews. A Restless Knight has a five star rating. There are 56 reviews, with only two of them being below a five. I'm always surprised when I read a book and dislike it, then go searching for other opinions, only to find that I am in the minority. It makes me wonder if maybe I missed something?

Oh, well. Grade C-.

Excerpt

7 comments:

  1. Brie, I just hate it when the same point is reiterated over and over again. This is a major pet peeve of mine. The premise of the books sounds really interesting and something that I would like to read, but your review makes me hesitate.

    Sometimes, I really wonder if those people over at Amazon even read the same book I did. I believe it was the book Megan's Mark that got such high praise and I hated that book. I think there was only one negative review out of 30 or so reviews.

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  2. Jill, the premise was interesting and so was the first half of the book but like I said the repetitiveness and lack of solid plot killed the story.

    I wonder the same thing about Amazon reviews. Especially books with solid five star ratings that are not even close to being that good.

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  3. Eeekkk ... I've got this book in the TBR! Looks like it's going to stay there for a while longer.

    Amazon reviews. I'd take them with two pinches of salt. ;) I've heard that *sometimes* people with "vested interest" in a particular book would post great reviews and give maximum ratings.

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  4. I actually really did enjoy this book and my five star review is amongst the others on Amazon and supports my reasons, so I won't get into them here.

    I can, however, relate to feeling as if in a bit of a Twilight Zone when hearing high praise about a book I did not enjoy. You do start to wonder sometimes if there's something wrong with you as a reader. Truth is though, nope, it's just that we're all different...what some feel is a five star read will certainly not always be so to others. And isn't it OK to have those differing opinions without one being right and the other wrong?

    Reading your review, Brie, even though I really loved this book, I can see why you did not like the things you disliked. I mean, it's completely understandable that the things I liked will not necessarily appeal to the next person. Right??

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  5. Jace, when you do get around to reading this book I'd like to hear your take on it. Who knows, you might enjoy it.

    Hi, Kmont. I'm glad you loved this book, I enjoyed it as well- up until the midway point, then it became redundant (to me). I feel like something was missing, like it was there and never came. I don't know, it sounds crazy but that's how it felt to me.

    And I completely agree with you about the difference of reader opinion. What I enjoy you might not and vice verse. And then there are those points that we do agree on, like the BDB series ;)

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  6. After finishing this book I went over to Amazon to check the reviews. A Restless Knight has a five star rating. There are 56 reviews, with only two of them being below a five. I'm always surprised when I read a book and dislike it, then go searching for other opinions, only to find that I am in the minority. It makes me wonder if maybe I missed something?

    Did you notice that thread on Amazon about negative reviews on RESTLESS KNIGHT disappearing? When I expressed my sympathy and disgust at the practice, all my reviews on Amazon mysteriously got "Not Helpful" votes as reprisal. This author seems like a piece of work.

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  7. Seton,

    Prior to posting this review I had no idea about this happening on Amazon. I received emails from two separate readers of this blog (one being a fellow blogger) about this "practice" with links to where it was being discussed on Amazon.

    I was shocked by it, to say the least. But glad it was brought to my attention. It seems that I wasn't the only reader who didn't enjoy the book, there were others but their reviews were being deleted.

    I wasn't impressed by A Restless Knight but I was still willing to give the second book in this series a try. Now I won't be reading any more of this authors work.

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