The Highlander's Sword

The Highlander's Sword - Amanda Forester Amanda Forester weaves a beautiful tale in The Highlander’s Sword, of the wilds of the Scottish Highlands where distrust and betrayal come together with love and redemption.

Lady Aila Graham always expected to join the church when the time came, but when her brother and father’s heir is killed in war Aila unexpectedly finds herself betrothed to a handsome but hardened knight. Betrayed by his fiancé and grieving the loss of his cousin while at war in France, Sir Padyn MacLaren has sworn never to love again. But to save his clan from squalor he agrees to wed the Graham’s daughter. Always assuming the worst of Aila, their marriage is a tremulous one from the start, rife with distrust and misunderstandings, but can they overcome it and bond together when a traitor is revealed and their clan is threatened?

The Highlander’s Sword is set in the 1300’s of medieval Scotland. The shining point of the novel is the author’s knowledge and expert penmanship of this time period. It was very easy to immerse yourself into the world building. The character’s were well placed and fit their surroundings. Aila is not all that young for the times, but naïve to the world, though she does secretly have an independent streak that we see more of as the story progresses. There are strong religious undertones to the tale, which I thought fit well. Aila is a pious woman who often turns to prayer when she needs an answer and then certain scriptures come to her that relate to the situation and most times help her out of a tight spot. I thought this brought a unique quality to the overall story and though the scriptures where written in both Latin and then English which sometimes seemed redundant, I still enjoyed how they fit each setting.
Padyn was not an endearing protagonist. He comes off heartless in the beginning, always seeing the worst possible side of Aila’s actions and never allowing her to explain herself. Though his reasons are understandable some instances were a bit harsh. Padyn is redeemed somewhat by the end but I would of liked to see more of his better qualities earlier, so that I could have connected with him easier. With so many conflicts in their relationship, Padyn and Aila’s romance was rocky and a weak point in the story, often over shadowed by the action. The sexual encounters were light, well written but not descriptive enough; and I say this because I didn’t even realize that they were finally doing the deed until it was over with.
I did enjoy the side story of Chaumont, the French knight and Padyn's second. It was sweet and Chaumont often contributed to many LOL scenes in the book lightening the mood and easing awkward scenes between Padyn and Aila.

Overall, The Highlander’s Sword was a good read but I would of like to see more romance to the story then what it was.