Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Dragonblade
Released on March 1, 2018
The blood of kings runs in his veins and he might have to sacrifice much to regain what his family lost to other’s power and greed. Domnall FitzWilliam was full of fury in the first book so I was thrilled to see him take center-stage in Valor.
Valor follows a parallel path to the first book Virtue so it could be read standalone. However, because it is a parallel book, I got much more out of it because I was already in possession of the knowledge of the events that were happening off scene dealing with Domnall’s family and others and some details that were not teased out because there is an assumption the reader already knows them.
So, yes, Valor is Domnall’s story along with Davina. They meet as children when she has just lost everyone in her life and he makes her a promise. Fate tears them apart as men of power manipulate their lives like pawns. Over the years, they meet a few more times with that early promise blooming into something deeper though they are kept apart. Life has been rough on both of them.
Domnall is caught between two worlds. He’s a Scot, but his own father renounces his own heritage to become Norman and also gets his marriage annulled so he can marry into Norman aristocracy for power. The current Scottish king is wary of him because Domnall has a stronger claim to the throne than he with two kings as grandfathers. He must grow up hard and fast while still staying true to himself while men of power seek to make him a pawn or dead. As a man, he has the choice whether to submit, hide, or fight for his claim on Scotland while figuring out how to fulfill a long ago promise to his lady love.
Davina’s life was full of sorrow and loss save for one bright spark- Domnall. And even then, he rescues her more than once, but he has no real way of ultimately saving her since she is always under the king or the prince’s protection to be used for what she can bring them. She gives up hope for herself, but then learns she is now placed in a unique position to return Domnall’s favor by secretly aiding him and his family.
The stark world of this time period and hardships that many endured while men of power vied for control of Scotland is well-portrayed. I felt the colorful pageantry of the medieval era as well as the various historical cultures- Scots, Normans, and even Norsemen- along with the religious elements of Celtic church, Roman church, and pagan made for wonderful setting.
In the last book, I was confused by all the players, but with this book, I remembered the connections and alliances so that I could appreciate what was going on better. There is some great intrigue and suspense, brutal action and breathtaking action with a few moments of quiet contemplation for the characters.
The romance is secondary though definitely a strong element. In fact, it does drive the actions of Domnall and Davina even if historical circumstances keep them from an easy romance and being together. For much of the story, the romance is bittersweet because they can’t be together and must worry if a forced marriage will part them for good. I was rooting hard for them to finally get their chance.
And so, the Sons of Scotland series advances the situation for Domnall and Davina, Alexander and Sybilla, and so many others as they prepare for a war with Scotland as the prize and revenge against those who wronged them. This is great historical fiction and romance that anyone who loves Highlander and/or Medieval Romance should snack up first chance.
My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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