Well this was an old gem of a find, and totally deserving of some new praise in my opinion. Oh my goodness where do I start with this one… This is the second historical romance I have ever read and to be honest I wasn’t expecting much but this book pushed me (or more like threw me -C.L) from a ‘Meh this is ok’ to an ‘Oh my God this is dark, juicy and surprising’. Yup you are being warned, this story is pretty dark, especially during the first half.
Child of Awe is set sometime during the end of the Medieval Period and is based on real characters and places (You can visit Loch Awe and Kilchurn Castle in Scotland, UK -C.L). However, the story itself is completely fictional, which is great because there are no limits to Davis’ fantastic imagination… Due to it’s Medieval setting there is a lot of violence, crude language, and women are treated as property as opposed to people. There are also some sex scenes and the characters are not always willing. Some people may feel uncomfortable with these aspects but Davis’ story is true to the time period, so if you don’t think you can stomach the brutal reality of the Medieval Period, don’t read this book.
Ok now that you’ve been adequately warned, this story is quite simply shocking on all counts. Shocking because it’s so realistic, and because the plot line has so many twists and turns. The story is engaging and exciting, it had me hanging on the edge of my seat. Sometimes I was almost in tears, other times laughing, and occasionally I was gasping in horror. Davis’ has the infuriating magic touch, making you hate certain characters and then causing you to fall in love with them later on.
Muriella Calder, the female protagonist is mysterious, beautiful and incredibly vulnerable. My heart went out to Muriella as she was taken from her home without warning and betrothed to John Campbell. She puts up with a lot of hardship, and as much as she is distraught most of the time, and desperate to escape the Campbell’s, she does behave very much as you would expect a woman to from her time period. In the end she does find her courage and a fiery spark of personality is revealed in her character.
John, the male protagonist is the second son of the Campbell clan and oh my god I think I hated him as much as Muriella did in the beginning. He comes across very arrogant, cold, and a little too forceful at first, but as the story goes on you actually discover that he does have a soft, loving, human side. He may have stolen his bride from her home but he can’t steal her heart, he has to work for that.
The two characters compliment each other well, and it was nice to see that Muriella didn’t just fall in love with John immediately. John isn’t as perfect and ‘got everything together’ as he seems. Underneath it all they are both kindhearted individuals, caught in the middle of family pride, wars and greed.
There’s also a magical element to this book, Muriella has visions of the future, and she is sometimes feared because of this. However her visions end up saving the day and John has to learn to accept and trust his new wife. Child of Awe is almost a tragic romance, Muriella fights so hard against John and John ends up so desperate to get along with his new wife. There are so many misunderstandings and emotions, you never really know if the pair will see eye to eye, but by the end of the story you will be rooting for them.
I think Child of Awe is a fantastic addition to the Historical Romance genre, yes it’s got it’s dark and sad moments, but wow I did not expect this storyline. I wish I had found this book sooner! Davis’ has quite a few novels out there I was pleased to discover and she is definitely a name to keep your eyes peeled for. If you like your fiction, history, and a splash of magic then this is the perfect story for you!
From The Current Reviews:
The Good: ‘Intense, suspenseful, and at times, frighteningly gory‘, ‘It thrilled me to discover that this story is based on real people’, ‘a well-told story‘, ‘Scotland is a harsh and beautiful land and the book conveys this wonderfully‘, ‘enjoyable read, well written, the dialogue never felt clunky‘, ‘I absolutely adored this book‘, ‘This book has mystery, action, love, tears and so much more‘, ‘There is a lot of political intrigue, a few sex scenes and very well developed characters’, ‘A surprising delight’, ‘this book adds to the imagination‘, ‘an entrancing story’, ‘the characters were fantastic’, ‘captivated me from the beginning’, ‘good plot’, ‘A very interesting read, I was glued to each page’, ‘This is a story that you feel as you read it’, ‘An absolutely thrilling and inspiring book ,keeping you engrossed from start to finish’, ‘a wonderful tapestry of Scottish lore and a solid historical novel‘.
The Bad: ‘Story is good but really felt little empathy with the main characters. Too much angst and a bit long winded in places.’, ‘The story was okay, but I didn’t like the heroine’, ‘over written and too long, and suffered a lack of emotional drama‘, ‘Although I realize life was difficult during this period, especially for women, the story was really depressing‘.
The Darn Right Ugly: ‘DNF’, ‘I found the story bleak, depressing, and finally, boring.‘
The Unicorns: ‘Loved, loved, loved this book! A beautiful, haunting book, that I continue to reread. I really like this author but this book in particular is wonderful’.
This Book Has Been Compared/Likened To: Highlander.
Release date: First published in 1987.
Age Range: 16+
Contains: References and descriptions of sexual scenes and moderate violence. (Some aspects may make readers feel uncomfortable. TW Rape).
Genre: Historical Romance
Awards: Romantic Times award for best Scottish historical
About The Book: Muriella Calder…a young Scots beauty with auburn hair and wondrous green eyes. Sole heir to castle and fabled fortune. Stolen from her family and betrothed against her will to the second son of a rival clan.
John Campbell…a proud young warrior and hero on the bloody fields of valor. His courage has won him honors for the Campbell clan and made his name a legend—but his bloodlust dismays his stolen bride.
Every corner of Muriella’s new world seems locked in violent struggle, but none so fierce as that which rages in her heart. She anxiously awaits the sweet awakening of love’s first passion—the tender touch and warm need of a gentle lover’s lips, her proud heart’s desire.
Where to Buy?
Amazon: Kindle Ed £2.24, Paperback £4.99, or free with Kindle Unlimited.
This book is available of eBay and possibly worth trying charity shops.
About the Author: Kathryn Lynn Davis was born with what the ancient Celts called “the fatal gift of the imagination: a crown of stars and a stinging sword.” She had no choice but to become a writer. Since Scotland is the home of her heart, and she loves history (having a Masters in the subject), it was inevitable that she should write historical novels, most of which are set in Scotland. An award winning, New York Times best-seller, she has published 8 historical novels and one historical novella.
Kathryn has a BA in English and history from the University of California, Riverside, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. She also received her MA in history there.
Twice she received the University of California Riverside’s Creative Writing Alumni Award for Fiction, and in 1994, as part of the University’s 40th Anniversary, she was chosen as one of “40 Alumni Who Make A Difference” out of 37,000 graduates. She received the Romantic Times award for best Scottish historical: CHILD OF AWE; the RT Career Achievement Award for the TOO DEEP FOR TEARS trilogy; and the RT award for Best Historical: SOMEWHERE LIES THE MOON… (more information on her Amazon Profile below.)
Disclaimer: The reviews and opinions above are either from online sources or my own, and have been collaborated together for the ease and benefit of potential new readers. All ratings have been collected from the date of this blog’s publishing and will potentially change in the future.