I was quite amazed at the historical accuracy of this book and the imagination of the author of how she took history and embellished it. Of course, King James II didn’t have an older Catholic daughter who he hid away without telling anyone about but he could have and that is what I loved about this story.
Davina Montgomery is really King James’ eldest daughter who he had with his first wife. He secreted her away to St. Christopher’s Abby in Scotland to be raised by the nuns there. He sent a small garrison of 30 soldiers to guard her but only the captain, Edward Asher, knows who she really is.
As always, the tension between Catholics and Protestants in England and Scotland is high. King Charles, a Protestant king, has just died and James Stuart, a Catholic, will be crowned in 9 days. To ease tensions, King Charles forced James’ two other daughters to marry Protestants. It is one of the reasons James hid Davina away, so he could have a Catholic heir.
But one of King James’ enemies has found out about Davina and sent Admiral Peter Gilles to assassinate her. He attacks the Abby, killing all the soldiers and burned the chapel with the nuns in it. During the fighting, Robert MacGregor and a small group appear on the scene. Captain Edward Asher tells Rob that the men who are fighting and winning them were sent to kill Davina and he pleads with Rob to save her. Rob gets hit in the shoulder with an arrow but saves Davina without any of the attacking soldiers noticing and whisks her away.
Davina doesn’t tell Rob and his group, made up of some of his family and clan, who she really is but he knows she is someone of importance. Rob had been on his way to meet with his father, the chief of his clan, at Whitehall Palace for the coronation of King James but decides to take Davina to safety at another nearby Abby and then continue on the Whitehall. He drops her off at the Abby and then leaves, despite his growing attraction and feelings for Davina but when they come across a group of Admiral Gilles’ men who are on their way to the Abby to search for Davina, they fight and kill the men and Rob returns to the Abby to rescue Davina. He decides to take her to his home, hidden away in the mists and mountains of Skye. He sends his brother to tell his father where he is and what he is doing. By this time, they all have figured out who Davina really is. Also Edward Asher who lived meets up with them and travels with them to Rob’s home.
I liked the way the author, Paula Quinn, used the history of the MacGregors which if you know anything about Scotland, the MacGregors angered King James I so he abolished the name of MacGregor. He actually made them all take different surnames or become outlaws. The law stood for over sixty years. I personally have a huge dislike for King James I and how he treated the Scottish people, especially Highlanders but I won’t go into it here. This branch of MacGregors hid away on the Island of Skye in the mists and mountains. Their home and castle is called Camlochlin. I looked it up and it is not a real place in Scotland but I did find a beautiful painting by James Lyman of Camlochlin Castle. For copyright infringement, I can’t include it but you can look it up if you want to see it. There are two ways to get there, through the forests and mountains or through a dangerous mountain pass.
Rob MacGregor loves Davina and he loves her but to marry could bring the wrath of the king down upon him and his clan. Also, Admiral Gilles is still after her.
I can tell this is going to be a good series. This book introduced many characters and started stories that made me interested in learning more about these characters. I’m behind on my reviews so I’ve already read two more books in the series and look forward to reading them all.