||Amber Quill Press
||Jan 1 2001
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Amber Quill Press
Loyalty and honor. A Highland warrior prizes both more than life, and when he swears his oath on the dirk, he must obey or die. Duncan Cameron heeds his chief's order without question, but discovers his wife-to-be is no fair maiden. Although women are no longer trained in the art of fighting, Rory MacGregor follows in the footsteps of her Celtic ancestors. Secrets from the past and superstitious folk endanger Rory and Duncan as much as Bonnie Prince Charlie and his uprising to win back the British throne for his father. Rory and Duncan must make difficult choices that pit honor and duty against trust and love...
Set in Scotland during the Rising of 1745, The Scottish Thistle is a historical novel intertwined with a love story.
Prince Charles-the elder son of an exiled king-seeks to reclaim the British throne for the Royal House of Stewart. A loyal Jacobite, Sir Donald Cameron of Lochiel, raises his clan for the prince and thus begins the Rising of 1745. In the end, the tactics of Highland warfare prove no match against the trained might of the British Army. The Jacobite Army is slaughtered at Culloden Moor in April, 1746.
Thistle, a notorious smuggler wanted by the Crown, saves Duncan Cameron's life and takes him to an isolated MacGregor village. A chieftain of this clan, Rory MacGregor is bound by her oath and her father's promise to protect her people from persecution. When Duncan offers that protection, she agrees to wed him even though he is her enemy. The uneasy alliance they forge is tested by the appearance of Prince Charles and those who wish to destroy their union.
Earlier, Thistle had blessed the torrential rain. Now, the smuggler cursed it. A lightning bolt slashed the ink-black sky. The shadows of the night blurred, and Thistle shuddered. The premonition descended with the finality of a coffin lid being nailed shut.
Thistle stood at the left hand of a dark-haired man. Swirls of mist curled around their feet and shadowy forms rose up between them, separating Thistle from the stranger. A flash of steel pierced the darkness. The white mist turned bright red, then faded to nothingness.
The smuggler's eyes flew open! Thistle strained to hear, but thunder and wind obliterated other sounds. Lightning flashed, but in the instant it illuminated mountain and glen, Thistle glimpsed the peril.
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Clan Cameron Association
I am very pleased to see a new historical novel involving Clan Cameron and its Chief the 'Gentle Lochiel' in the period of the '45 following the spirit of the Jacobite novels of an earlier woman writer, D. K. Broster. The characters of The Scottish Thistle are its strength and they speak in a blend of Scots and English with occasional Gaelic words to give some of the romance of Scotland. There is an array of imagined clansfolk linking up with real people in this significant period of history. Indeed it seems to me the script is there for ready adaptation to a film or TV serial. The rendering of the historical events of the 'Forty-five, especially Culloden and the way Lord Murray's advice had been ignored thus leading to defeat, is effective. For those less familiar the historical postscript will be useful. I do not know how an American author chose to write on a Scottish historical theme in such a Scots way and I warmly congratulate Cindy Vallar. --David Roderick Cameron, President, Clan Cameron Association, Scotland
This is a full-blooded historical novel. More succinctly told than Diane Gabaldon with more sympathetic and believable characters, fans of Nigel Tranter will enjoy this one along with anybody who likes a Highland romance. Highly recommended! --Rachel Hyde
4 Stars! This is an entrancing tale of love, honor and trust. Cindy Vallar has created characters as vivid as the time and place they inhabit. This is a must read for all lovers of Scottish historicals. --Deborah Brent
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