Monday, December 19, 2005

Review:The Magnificent Rogue; I. Johansen

This love story set in Elizabethan England centers on the maturation of a teenge girl raised by a brutal couple in total ignorance of her family heritage & ancestry. Emtionally & physically abused by a couple given charge over her, Kathryn believes she is Mary, Queen of Scots' illegitimate daughter. Queen Elizabeth, in a complicated political manuveur sends Robert MacDarren, Lord of Craighdhu, to Kathryn under orders to marry her & keep her isolated on his island home off the coast of Scotland.

While written as a romance, I think this is actually a coming of age story. In the beginning Kathryn is only 16, abused & sheltered & ignorant of her identity and of the political ramifications of said true identity. Slowly over the course of time Kathryn matures emtionally & intellectually & decides she must be the captain of her fate. Robert, meanwhile, is more of a stock character. Emotionally isolated & determined to keep Craighdhu safe, Robert agrees to Elizabeth's plans hoping to add his own twist since he is caught between the political games of Queen Elizabeth & King James of Scotland.

Kathryn's plans cause difficulties for Robert & his clan. To her credit, when Kathryn finally realizes the ramifications of what she's done she sets out to repair her errors as best she can without further endangering Robert & the people of Craighdhu. Reluctantly Robert admits his love for Kathryn and he sets about proving it to her as best he can before politics & the tide of history can prevent him. In the end Kathryn chooses love & family over power & Robert decides that the love of a good woman is better than being lonely in a crowd of clansmen. Thus Robert & Kathryn have an HEA as equals.

I initially had reservations about Kathryn because of her age, but Iris Johansen skillfully drew me into Kathryn & Robert's world despite them. Regretfully, Robert, IMO, is less well developed than Kathryn, nonetheless he is strong & decisive & well Kathryn's equal even after she has grown & matured. This is a romance by, for & about adults which I enjoyed tremendously.


Kristie (J) said...

I've never read any of her romances. I really should. I hear they are pretty good.

Bookwormom said...

Post your thoughts, Kristie(J), I'd like to hear what you think of Johansen's writing.