In a tale combining myth with nineteenth century Scottish history, Ms. Fobes has created a unique read.
The Duke of Argyll lost his wife and daughter, Sarah, to a tragic carriage accident in 1796. In 1813, Edinburgh, Scotland, Colin Murray, Earl of Cawdor and heir to the Duke of Argyll, discovered an emerald just like the one worn by the deceased Duchess of Argyll. Mr. Murphy, a Highland farmer, pawned the ring after he took it from Sarah, the orphaned girl he found wandering the moors seventeen years before.
When the Duke locates Sarah, he deems her his daughter and asks that she return with him to Inveraray, his ducal estate. Reluctantly, Sarah agrees to return, though she has no memory of the Duke as her father. And Sarah doesn't want to leave behind the animals that she has learned to communicate with using her pan flute.
At the Duke's request, Colin returns to Inveraray, to aid in the transformation of Sarah. With the help of Phineas Graham, the Duke's man of business, Sarah becomes a real lady. The attraction between Colin and Sarah is very real, but the Duke has forbidden a match between them. Poor Sarah begins to lose a part of herself, stops communicating with the animals, and almost forgets her quest to find the white unicorn.
Ms. Fobes has successfully achieved the task of integrating elements of fantasy into a historical novel. Without being overly fanciful, Sarah's quest of the white unicorn is used in almost an allegorical manner allowing it to mesh perfectly with the main story line. The reformation of the rake, Colin, is more believable than some as it takes place in a gradual and somewhat self-awakening manner. For a story to warm your heart and stay with you for a long time, TO TAME A WILD HEART can't be beat.