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Return to Alastair by L. A. Kelly
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Return to Alastair

by L. A. Kelly

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My opinion of this book was sadly torn between more than one viewpoint.
If you are looking for a story with a sound spiritual message about forgiveness and trust then this is it, and the theme is well handled, but the setting, much of the characterisation and certain aspects of the plot are not.

On the one hand in terms of Christian content I cannot fault it, but the Historian in me could barely tolerate the historical inaccuracy and seeming lack of research, and on a purely superficial level the story was clichéd, predictable and repetitive in places. For instance, it was not hard to guess that the villains from the first novel would be behind the bad things which happened to the hero's family in the past- just as they behind almost everything last in that novel.

How many times can the hero be seriously wounded, or poisoned whipped come close to death, and yet pull through? Many times in this series it seems, but after the first couple of occasions this really becomes tiresome and predictable, because of course it is obvious that the the hero won't actually die because of who he is.

As a rather too pedantic History student, inaccuracy, shoddy research and lack of faithfulness to the period setting in a book are a source of annoyance for me- and this novel sadly suffers from most of these.

The continued use of the inaccurate and grammatically questionable word 'Baronship' to describe the lands and titles of a Baron instead of the correct term 'Barony' made me feel like throwing the book against the wall (had I not been reading the electronic edition) and really just suggested the author had done little if any research into the Medieval period, and had simply guessed at any unfamiliar terms rather than bothering to look them up.

One of the central suppositions of the plot, that the illegitimate daughter of a Baron and her offspring had a supposedly stronger claim to his lands than his legitimate son also did not ring true- especially not as a justification for the actions of the villains against the hero.

The villain himself is almost laughable in terms of his bungling incompetence, and is so one dimensional he could be made of cardboard. It also seemed to me that he appeared to be based upon the stereotypical depiction of an 'English' nobleman, with his high register language and class-snobbery. Or perhaps more correctly the depiction of him is based what an American who had never met or seen an British person thought they were like- based on what they had seen in movies.

In another place, the novel certainly seems to reflect a typically American view of the aristocracy in which the heroine dismisses all nobles as lazy and spoiled and having never faced hardship or done a day's work in their lives. Anyone who had truly studied the Medieval aristocracy would realise this was not the case, and that Medieval aristocrats spent much of their time fighting, or struggling to run countries and that this was their 'work'.

Altogether, a great Christian story but a very poor Historical novel.
( )
  Medievalgirl | Oct 4, 2016 |
After leaving his life as a feared mercenary Tahn Dorn is building a new life. However he still has a heavy heart, he has made peace with God but is still not fully at peace with himself. Tahn continues to be haunted by confusing dreams and is uncertain of his feelings for Netta, he knows he must confront his past before he can face the future. This means he must return to Alastair where his earliest memories are, memories of torture and pain. He must face deep seated fears, as well as old adversaries, deadly threats and the mistrust of an entire town. There is danger around every corner and without divine intervention the hope of being free from the past could be lost forever.
The sequel to than another recommended book although this one is more violent than the first. It was enjoyable though, it was a little harder to read, that maybe because it is the second in a trilogy and so is not really finishing or ending but just continuing the story. ( )
  CRAZYELIZABETH | Apr 3, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0800731166, Paperback)

Once a feared mercenary, Tahn Dorn has abandoned his old ways and is building a new life. But his heart is still heavy. Haunted by confusing dreams and uncertain of his growing attraction to Netta Trilett, Tahn knows he must come to terms with his past before he can look to the future. And that means returning to his birthplace of Alastair--a journey he knows will not be easy. And so begins Tahn's search for truth, where he encounters old adversaries, deadly threats, a long-lost sister, and the distrust of an entire town. Return to Alastair is the continuing tale of an unlikely hero who must learn the power of forgiving others--and forgiving himself--in order to accept the love of a good lady.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:51 -0400)

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