The Fearless Highlander, of the Highland Defender series by Amy Jarecki is a prequel to The Highland Duke and The Highland Commander. This book is set in the days leading up to the time when Scots had finally had enough of English atrocities. The massacre at Glencoe on February 13, 1692, where almost an entire clan was wiped out, was the last straw. As a result, the clans began meeting secretly under the guise of quarterly highland games. At the games, clan members competed to increase their strength and stamina for warfare. During these games the clan leaders met secretly to plan their strategy of revenge.
The results of the hatred and prejudices between the Scots and the English, and of the slaughter of Scots by the English is a lesson humanity has yet to learn. Through the thoughts and voice of the lifelike characters, Jarecki says it best: “Hate was ugly. Hate played irrational tricks on his [Hugh’s] mind, and if he let her, hate would eat him alive.” Second in command to Charlotte’s father was Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton, an English supremacist who wanted nothing less than to wipe all Scottish “savages” from the face of the earth. Sound familiar? In reality, these “savages” lived by a code of honor, hospitality, and respect that the English simply did not understand.
In 1691, the truly fearless Hugh MacIain MacDonald, of Clan McIain, was imprisoned in the dreaded Fort William on trumped up charges. In the prison infirmary, he was shackled to a table and left to die of “the bloody flux”. This is the love story of Hugh and Charlotte Hill, an English gentlewoman, and daughter of the governor of Fort William’s daughter set against the tumultuous times. Charlotte is a fictitious character. Hugh likely represents John, the real-life son of the murdered clan chief, Alasdair Ruadh MacIain MacDonald, 12th chieftain of Glencoe.
What Makes This Book Reviewer Grumpy?
Improper placement of the word “only”.
“I wish I would have…” should be “I wish I had…”
“Insure” should have been “ensure”.