My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A Falcon For A Queen by Catherine Gaskin popped up as a recommended reading in the gothic romance genre and I was expecting something similar to Mary Stewart or Victoria Holt’s writing but I was thoroughly mistaken.
The thread of the story was filled with mystery and intrigue, Kristy is traveling from China to Scotland, a land unknown to her wanting to know the exact circumstances of her brother’s death. An illegible line in a scroll send to her in Mandarin was the only instrument she had to suspect foul play. Unwelcome in her grandfather’s house and lonely, Kristy roams the countryside with her pony but this ambling about repeats itself endlessly. I was invested initially enjoying walking in Kristy’s footsteps and feeling like being one with nature but after a time, I longed for more action or suspense in the story. The housekeeper, Mairi Sinclair gives a Mrs. Danvers vibe in the beginning but that part of it also changes direction and the sinister atmosphere is lost. The process of making wine has also been described in excruciating detail that after a point of time I was bored with the information overload. I have always understood GOTHIC to have some kind of situation wherein the reader can experience one terrifying moment but that is completely absent in the story. The mystery that begins with Kristy’s brother’s death weaves into the past of Mairi and her son Callum, and the part Morag plays in finally revealing the truth of it all.
This is a book that would be enjoyed by those who love a leisurely pace in their story coz the author does take her time to set the tone, in a way making the reader aware of every nook and corner of the Scottish countryside but it would have made for an exciting read if only the suspense was on point.
A gripping story of romance and mystery set in Victorian Scotland.
After the death of her father, Kirsty Howard leaves their home in China and travels to be with her mother’s family in the Scottish Highlands. It is here that her brother William has also recently died – after a hunting accident. With her Kirsty carries a scroll sent by William from his deathbed, with a cryptic message “She has killed …”
Arriving at Cluain, the old house and whisky distillery owned by her grandfather, Kirsty is drawn to the mysterious and moody Callum Sinclair, who roams the moors with his majestic falcon.
She also meets the other locals who had known William – including the forbidding housekeeper, Mairi Sinclair. Over time, Kirsty learns the parts these strangers played in her brother’s life, and how her own fate is bound up by the places and people of this remote land. But nothing can prepare her for the truth that must be revealed.
An atmospheric story of secrets, passion and family duty.
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