Thursday, November 2, 2017

"Lady Nellie" by Verlin Underwood

I would like to start off this review by stating that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for writing an honest review.

”Lady Nellie” was an interesting story. A Scottish Laird is sought by an leannan sith (or for those unfamiliar with the term... an evil fairy) who desires him as her husband. When he manages to refuse her despite her attempt at enchanting him, she curses him and his family. Should any of them leave their lands, they would all die. Despite this curse, which causes all the clansmen residing on the Lyall lands to flee from fear of being cursed as well, Laird Lyall, his wife, and his daughter still manage to spend a number of very happy years together in their home. Unfortunately, those happy days all come to an end when a difficult winter depletes their supplies and causes Nellie’s parents to become very Ill.

After they die, knowing that if she remains alone in her home that she would soon follow her parents in death, Nellie takes what little she can and leaves during the harsh winter in an attempt to find help and refuge in a nearby town. Just as she reaches the end of both her and her horse’s strength, they collapse within site of a neighboring castle where she is taken in and the local healer summoned.

Soon Nellie is well enough to be questioned by her rescuer as to where she has come from and how she arrived at his castle. There it is revealed that she is in Laird Maxwell’s lands. We soon learn that not only has he blamed Nellie’s family for a great deal, but that it was his stepmother who had cursed her family. He, however, does not believe that his stepmother was a leannan sith or that there was ever any curse. Nellie would very much like to flee his lands, but with nowhere else to go and still being too weak to truly leave, Laird Maxwell makes her a ward of his court.

As usual with my reviews, here I will end my description of the book so as to avoid spoiling the rest of story for you. I enjoyed the tale this book told a great deal, though it could have used a good editor. It was obvious that the text was run through a spellchecker as most everything was spelled correctly, though often the wrong word was used rather than the one that was clearly meant by the author. (For example, one that sticks out in my mind was when the word used was “indistinct” when the one that would have made much more sense was “indecent”. This type of error happens a number of times in the book, along with a couple of instances where it felt like the author changed her mind part-way through a sentence but forgot to go back & remove the part of the sentence that no longer belonged.

Even with these errors appearing throughout the book, the story did keep drawing me in and I wanted to see where it was going. I did enjoy reading it and am looking forward to the next book in the series. Hopefully that one will be a bit better edited than this one. But even if it isn’t, if the story is half as enjoyable as this one was it will still be worth reading.

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