Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Borderland Rebel #4
Publication Date: 6/15/21
Period: Medieval – Scotland 1342
Goodness Gracious Me! I have been waiting for Drake’s book through two whole series and I am so very glad it is finally here and that he has such an awesome wrap-up for the series. With the buildup of so much anticipation, an author can only hit a grand-slam-home-run or strike-out, nothing in between the two. I can happily say this is a grand-slam-home-run and I am so glad to have read it. Having said all of that, if you have not read any of the previous books, you can read this as a stand-alone and not miss a beat. But, if you read the other books first, your experience will be so much more colorful and rich.
At long last, Drake has the opportunity to become a knight. King David has given him a two-fold assignment and upon the successful completion of the main part of that mission, the king will bestow a knighthood on Drake. That is the one thing Drake has sought after and worked for his entire life. Drake is absolutely the noblest of men – nobody is more honorable, more moral, or more upstanding than Drake. His morality has cost him jobs and friends over the years, but his moral compass hasn’t ever wavered. Even though he isn’t officially a knight, he has been assigned a squire, Beathan (Bean) MacKenzie. Bean is every bit as moral and strait-laced as Drake, so they get along famously. Bean only knows the ‘public’ part of Drake’s mission – to travel to Lochmaben Castle and train the new recruits the king has sent to the castle as reinforcements. The secret part, discovering the cause of death of Lady Eileen, is known only to Drake.
Greer MacPherson is in a total panic because her very young brother (about twelve) has been locked in the dungeon at Lochmaben Castle – and it has been a month now. She isn’t allowed to see him and he is under heavy guard. What could a poor, innocent, young boy have done to receive such punishment? Greer is afraid she knows the answer – Mac (her brother) surely saw what happened with the dead woman from the castle and somebody is trying to keep him quiet. Or, are they blaming him? Greer has walked all the way from Lochmaben Castle to Dunfermline Castle to try to speak with the king on behalf of her brother, but she wasn’t even allowed entry. Now, she must find fifty quid in order to bribe a guard at Lochmaben Castle. That is what he told her it would cost her to ‘rescue’ her brother. She’s is a laundress, where is she going to get that kind of money. Well, her plan is simple – she’ll steal it on her way back to Lochmaben. She’s an excellent thief, surely, she can pick enough pockets along the way home to raise the money.
Of course, Drake and Greer encounter each other under less than desirable circumstances. Drake wants to help Greer and Greer sees Drake as a mark. Greer thinks they are as different as two people could possibly be, but Drake knows they are more alike than different. When things go horribly awry at Lochmaben, will Drake be able to give up his lifelong dream to save Greer and Mac? Even if he is willing, can he actually do it?
This was a beautifully written, fast-paced, breath-holding, sigh-worthy read and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. It has an Epilogue that perfectly wraps up the series, ties up all of the loose ends, and catches us up with all of Drake’s family on the Isle of Skye. This book was everything I could have hoped Drake’s book would be. Kudos to the author.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.