Rebel Warrior (Medieval Warriors #3) by Regan Walker-Review and Guest Post
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About the book: Release Date May 17, 2016
When your destiny lies far from where you began …
The Norman Conqueror robbed Steinar of Talisand of his noble father and his lands, forcing him to flee to Scotland while still recovering from a devastating wound. At the royal court, Steinar becomes scribe to the unlettered King of Scots while secretly regaining his skill with a sword.
The first time Steinar glimpses the flame-haired maiden, Catrìona of the Vale of Leven, he is drawn to her spirited beauty. She does not fit among the ladies who serve the devout queen. Not pious, not obedient and not given to stitchery, the firebrand flies a falcon! Though Catrìona captures Steinar’s attention, he is only a scribe and she is promised to another.
Catrìona has come to Malcolm’s court wounded in spirit from the vicious attack on her home by Northmen who slayed her parents and her people. But that is not all she will suffer. The man she thought to wed will soon betray her.
When all is lost, what hope is there for love? Can a broken heart be mended? Can a damaged soul be healed?
Rebel Warrior begins with Catriona’s home being attacked and her beloved parents being murdered as she and Angus, her trusted guard, make their way home from a day of flying her falcon. Those whom the attackers didn’t kill, they took as prisoners. Thankfully, her brother was away as well and was spared. They were taken in by their uncle until the time came for Catriona and her cousin, Fia, to become ladies of the Queen’s court. Catriona was not very enthusiastic when it came to her duties at court, but soon fell into a routine and discovered that Queen Margaret is more than she first thought.
Steinar had become a valuable member of the King of Scots’ inner circle. He relished his duties, but practiced daily trying to regain his warrior’s body and strength from a wound that could have very well killed him. Once he sees Catriona, he is immediately drawn to her and is determined to get to know her. He soon discovers that she is betrothed to another, but can’t help his feelings for her.
Catriona can’t help but notice Steinar and is drawn to him as well. She steadfastly stays the course her father had laid out before her though. However, once she was betrayed by the one she was to marry, she immerses herself into a project helping Queen Margaret.
However, when King Malcolm decides to meet war head on, he and his men head out, leaving Queen Margaret and her court worried and anxious. It just so happens that Catriona is not the only one smitten with one of their King’s guards, so they do the only thing they know to do. Pray. What transpires will leaving you turning the pages and holding your breath at the same time.
Regan Walker has once again written a story like no other. Rebel Warrior is, without a doubt, one of the most well written stories I’ve ever read, by any author. The storytelling, as well as the world building, is phenomenal. I know I repeat myself when I review one of her books, but the weaving of actual historical events in with the story she tells is awe inspiring. As Walker starts to weave her tale, you will swear you can hear the clamor, whether in the dining hall, or in the courtyard. Catriona is a wonderfully strong and determined young woman. Even after witnessing the destruction of her own home, she stays true to the path that her beloved father had set in motion. Steiner is wonderful in his own right. Strong, intelligent and deeply loyal, he is the perfect match for Catriona. However, it is Catriona’s beautiful friendship that develops with Queen Margaret, that is truly life changing. Margaret not only gives Catriona a sense of purpose, but helps restore her faith. A faith that she had been struggling with ever since she was forced from her home. The secondary characters are well written as well, and I hope to read more about them in the next installment. Rebel Warrior is truly one of the most heartfelt and inspirational things I’ve read in years. The romance that develops between the two main characters is very touching, but it is Catriona’s renewed faith that will have you cheering and shedding a few tears. If you’ve not ready anything by Regan Walker, I will tell you once again…..it is truly your loss. Very well done Regan Walker! Very, very, very well done.
Series Reading Order and Vickie’s Previous Reviews
The Red Wolf’s Prize
Copy supplied by the author
Reviewed by Vickie M
Reflecting Characters’ Faith Without Making the Romance Inspirational
by Regan Walker
It seems to me that historical romance authors who strive to accurately portray the era in which they set their stories should consider the element of faith, both in the culture of the time and their characters’ lives. I write mainline Georgian, Regency and Medieval novels and, in each case, I have found the historical setting often requires me to add this aspect to my characters. Not to do so would be to give the reader an inaccurate picture of the times in which my characters live.
For example, in my newest novel, Rebel Warrior, the hero and heroine meet in the court of King Malcolm Canmore in 11th century Scotland. The heroine, who has just suffered a devastating loss, becomes a lady in waiting to the devout Queen Margaret. I could hardly present Margaret any other way since she was a real historic figure about whom we know much. And her ladies in waiting would be expected to join her in prayer and good deeds, yet how would a heroine who doubted God’s love serve such a queen? To include this element does not mean the story is not full of action, sexual tension and romance, or that there isn’t a love scene, which there is.
In my Regency romances, you might encounter the heroine going to church with her friends, especially on Christmas, as in The Holly and the Thistle or The Twelfth Night Wager. It was just something they did in the Regency era as a matter of course. The Church of England was very important to their lives.
Jane Austen wrote about the world of the Anglican clergy, which she knew well, her father being the Reverend George Austen. Often, she featured clerics as characters, sometimes favorably (Edmund in Mansfield Park) and sometimes unfavorably (Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice).
In the medieval era, one daughter or son in a family might be expected to serve the church, which made it terribly inconvenient should that character fall in love.
In Georgian England, it was the Protestant Church of England vs. the Catholics and sometimes a story must reflect it. In my novel To Tame the Wind, which begins in France with a Catholic heroine and ends with her being married to a Protestant Englishman by the Anglican Bishop of London, I could hardly fail to deal with the difficulties their love produced, especially when England was making it near impossible for Catholics to own land, retain a title or even marry. And if you were Irish, as my hero in The Shamrock & The Rose, you had even more issues!
To reflect the characters’ faith is not to make the novels inspirational, that is to say, novels with a decided Christian message. Rather, it is merely presenting the culture in which my characters live and love. And I think the stories are richer for it.
Regan Walker is a #1 bestselling, multi-published author of Regency, Georgian and Medieval romance. She has been a featured author on USA TODAY’s HEA blog three times and twice nominated for the prestigious RONE award (her novel, The Red Wolf’s Prize is a finalist for 2015). Regan Walker writes historically authentic novels with real history and real historic figures. She wants her readers to experience history, adventure and love.
Her work as a lawyer in private practice and then serving at high levels of government have given her a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown”. Hence her romance novels often involve a demanding sovereign who taps his subjects for “special assignments.”
Regan lives in San Diego with her golden retriever, Link, who she says inspires her every day to relax and smell the roses.