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Once a Warrior Paperback – 1 May 1997
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"Karyn Monk is a remarkable new voice in historical romance."--Nationally bestselling author of The Diamond Slipper, Jane Feather"Karyn Monk brings...the romance of the era to readers with her spellbinding storytelling talents. This is [an]...author to watch."--Romantic Times
From the Inside Flap
Her stories are tender and sensual, humorous and deeply involving. Now Karyn Monk offers her most enthralling romance ever: a tale of a shattered hero fighting for redemption--and fighting for love...
Ariella MacKendrick knew her people had only one hope for survival: she must find the mighty warrior known as the Black Wolf and bring him home to defend
her clan. But when Ariella finally tracks him down, Malcolm MacFane is nothing like the hero she dreamed he would be.
The fearless laird who once led a thousand men is a drunken shell of his former self, scarred inside and out, with no army in sight. Yet Ariella has no choice but to put her trust in MacFane. And soon something begins to stir in the fallen legend. A fire still rages in his warrior heart--a passion that could lead them into battle...a desire, barely leashed, that could brand a Highland beauty's soul.
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I happened across Karyn Monk's previous novel, "The Rebel and the Redcoat", while stranded in an airport, and I was pleasantly surprised. Not only can she contruct a breathless, gripping plot, and create rounded complex characters, but also her grasp of historical details is more profound than that of many historians. Being an historian myself, I would recommend her novels above many textbooks. The new novel,however -- which I bought expecting to disappointed -- is not just better than the previous one, it is infinitely better, and it deserves to be issued in a more dignified hardback edition -- because it belongs alongside the very best historical fiction ever written. This is a major writer. Set in medieval Scotland, "Once A Warrior" paints the most vividly accurate picture of a wild and turbulent place and time, peopling it with characters so utterly believable they live on in ones heart and mind long after the novel ends, and threading everything together with what must be one of the Great love stories in every sense: intricately constructed, heartbreakingly beautiful, enormously touching, yet also aflame with passionate eroticism, and -- very rare in this genre -- real, knee-slapping humor. Many times I laughed out loud; many times too I was also moved to tears by Ms Monk's deep, compassionate understanding of the human soul. I thoroughly endorse this novel, because I cannot imagine anyone who reads not finding it among the best books they've ever had the privilege and good fortune of coming across. If there were more such writers -- ones who entertain as much as they instruct, who inspire as often as they entrall -- no one would watch television. I thank Ms Monk from the bottom of my heart for this rare masterpiece of -- yes -- literaure. In my books she ranks alongside Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, Victor Hugo and George Eliot -- and still has something to teach these past masters about the mysteries of the heart and the exigencies of thorough research.
My advice is to read this book first, then the next one (although they have nothing in common in their story lines). That will avoid any disappointing comparisons in the reading of this wonderful book. I agree with another reviewer who feels this author should be writing hard cover novels. I wish they were LONGER, however!
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