- Author: May McGoldrick
- Performed by Saskia Maarleveld
- Released: March 2017 by Macmillan Audio
- Category: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Review
Miranda MacDonnell is on the run. When she inherited a mysterious relic from her mother, she had no idea the dangers it would bring. Now hunted by a relentless foe who will stop at nothing to find her, she has one choice: stow away on the ship of the notorious privateer, Black Hawk.
Miranda MacDonnell has always been aware of her mother’s gift and what it entails. The visions her mother experienced enabled her to avert disasters and now, as her health fails completely, she passes the relic to her daughter. Miranda is persuaded to flee her home due to premonitions of great danger and she takes the fourth piece of the relic with her. She has to find her twin brother, Gavin, given away at birth in order to save his life, and stay out of the clutches of Sir Ralph Evers to save her own life.
Privateer, Rob Hawkins also known as Black Hawk, is under orders from the English king to find and kill Evers, now classed as a rogue commander. Following Evers’ trail of destruction, he is looking for Miranda knowing Evers will be in close pursuit. Her mother foretold that Miranda’s fate would be intertwined with Hawk’s, so Miranda, in disguise, manages to get herself aboard Hawk’s ship as a kitchen boy.
“And you told Evers this. You told him Muirne MacDonnell wasn’t buried there.”
“But he still went into the crypt?”
“Aye.” The priest frowned. “And something happened in there.”
“What do you mean?” Rob fought the frustration rising in him, but he needed to find out where Evers had gone from here.
“All I know is, the last thing he asked before he went in was where Miranda might have gone. She was the one he wanted next. No one had the answer. But when he came out, he called his commanders together. I heard him myself. They were setting sail for Mull. They were going to Duart Castle. You’d think he got his answers from the dead.”
Girls masquerading as boys and not getting found out, especially on a ship full of rough seamen in close contact with each other, isn’t my favourite plot device. I enjoyed this story much more once Hawk knew who Miranda really was. She is an engaging character as herself and her efforts on the Isle of the Dead to save Hawk from the fate she saw in her visions shows her determination and strength of character.
Miranda and Hawk are the antithesis of each other in the their beliefs. Hawk can’t grasp, much less believe, the details of Miranda’s extraordinary life, the mysticism, the gift she has and her faith in the tablet. He trusts only in what he can see and touch. The contrast between them both worked well.
Events and forces of nature conspire to bring Innes, Conall, Kenna and Alexander to the island to join up with Miranda and Hawk. I enjoyed the mystic/paranormal aspect of the story very much, and the characters Miranda and Hawk found on the island. The scenic descriptions are as vivid as previously.
Saskia Maarleveld did a great job with the narration and I’m glad I listened to the series. It was very entertaining, I wanted to know how the story was resolved, and the complete history of the relic. The ending was fitting, if just a little on anti climactic side.
I chose to listen to and review Much Ado About Highlanders based on an audio copy of the book supplied by Macmillan Audio.
My thanks to Alex Calamela
About the author
(a.k.a. Nikoo & Jim McGoldrick)
Nikoo and Jim wrote their first May McGoldrick romance using historical figures that Jim researched while earning a Ph.D. in sixteenth-century Scottish and English literature. Nikoo, a mechanical engineer, is a born storyteller. She is all about characters and feeling. Jim is about action and sense of place. Together, they have crafted over thirty fast-paced, conflict-filled historical and contemporary novels and two works of nonfiction under the pseudonyms May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey.