FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:
ABOUT THE BOOK
When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy–exile to the Colony of North Carolina–he’s indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will, Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey’s slaves–and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant’s heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith.
As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerate preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees. Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he’s faced with the choice that’s long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex’s very life.
WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK
Solely because of the author.
In fact, I just now (as I’m writing this review) read the back cover for the first time. And goodness, may I say it gives way too many spoilers? Seriously, it’s giving away plot twists that don’t happen until probably three-fourths of the way through the book. I’m so glad I didn’t read the back cover before I read the book.
But back to the author. I read Many Sparrows several years ago and really liked it, although because of some content issues I only gave it three stars. Since then, I’ve been on the lookout for more of Miss Lori’s books because of her writing and the time period and settings she tackles.
WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK
This book had me up and down and all over the place. Instead of going with pros and cons, we’re going to go with the beginning, middle, and ending.
Beginning – Two Stars
Y’all. This part drove me nuts. It kept flashing back to a year before and showing how the main character got to where he was when the book started. It was hard for me to keep picking the book up to read more because I wished the author would have just given us one telling paragraph of backstory and moved on.
Middle – Four Stars
When the time hopping stopped the book went from being meh to making me not want to put it down. There were several characters that drew me in and really made the book for me. Jemma, a young slave girl, was my favorite for sure and I liked the portions with her storyline the best. She’s such a feisty little dear and I wanted to gather her up in a huge hug. The way Alex (the main male character) responded to her was my favorite thing about Alex for sure.
The middle of the book also contained several plot twists (that is, if you didn’t read the back cover) that propelled the book into a direction I hadn’t imagined. At one point in time I thought the author might do something totally risky with her characters and make it go in a direction no one would suspect, but alas, she didn’t.
Ending – Two/three Stars
At about the 85% mark, we reached the point where I could predict the rest of the book and I was right, so that was a bit disappointing to me. There was also more violence/disturbing things in the last few chapters of the book. The author did a great job of making everything appear dark and bleak, and although I see why she did it, it wasn’t something I liked. Because of that, the book lost the four-star rating I had been planning on in the middle of the story, and I decided to go with three stars.
The book does contain violence and alludes (strongly) to some bad things that the “villain” does, but it never goes into detail. There’s a lot of revenge that takes place, ill-treatment of slaves, and other things that I won’t mention for the sake of spoilers.
On the bright side, the book gives a nod to a certain book of the Bible, and it was cool seeing the comparisons. 😉
It was also cool learning about the history behind the title of the book. Y’all should look it up.
I’m giving A King’s Mercy three out of five stars – NetGalley graciously provided an e-copy of this book for me so I could review it.