Monday, September 1, 2014

The Maiden Of Ireland-Susan Wiggs

The Maiden Of Ireland
Susan Wiggs
Mira, Aug 26 2014, $7.99
ISBN 9780778316466

In 1658, weeping women attend the execution of Father John the heretic.  The condemned man muses that for six years John Wesley Hawkins worked undercover as Father John to remove the usurper Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell from ruling the land and restore the rightful king to the throne, but failed.  As he is about to hang, he says his last words: “…God save Charles Stuart…”.  At the very last moment with the rope tearing into his throat, Cromwell saves his life and that of his daughter but demands in remittance John uncover the identity of the Fianna Irish rebellion or else he and his family will die. 

Wesley travels to Connemara, Ireland where Caitlin MacBride, daughter of the local chieftain, notices him walking near her home Castle Clonmuir.  His shameful scheme is simply seduce Caitlin into revealing who the Fianna chief is.  What Wesley failed to anticipate was falling in love with his target.

This “revised” version of 1993 The Mist And The Magic (don’t know how much was refreshed) is an enjoyable brisk Cromwellian romance with a unique locale; instead of the usual London, Ireland shines during the era when Parliament and the Lord Protector ruled the kingdom.  Leisurely-paced, this is an entertaining seventeenth century historical even with the lead relationship being typical of the subgenre. 

Harriet Klausner

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