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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In 1558 a young French woman sets out for Scotland with her servant/companion, to fulfill a bargain made by others: but all is not as it seems. Colin McLean has something her family wants, and they have something he wants. Caught in the schemes of others more powerful than she is, Margarete is forced to look for the sources of her own power.
Taking a catholic wife is no li
ebook, 530 pages
Published February 24th 2013 by Christine Malec
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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  15 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite historical fiction of 2013. I won it a Historical Fictionistas giveaway. It takes place primarily in 16th century Scotland and I found it very authentic. I feel that this author knows the people of Scotland and this period.

I find this problematic to review. Other reviews here have danced around the topic that sets this book apart because it's a huge spoiler. I could put it in spoiler brackets, but I don't find that adequate. I was more open about it in the blog version of m
Jacqui Pegg
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I found the characters complex, whole, interesting and nuanced, very likeable but also realistic. The relationships between the characters were excellent -- their different ages, life experiences, positions in society, cultural and religious backgrounds and so on were well and realistically rendered in their interactions, and I liked how the relationships grew and changed. I appreciated how even her more peripheral characters felt like real people.
Malec's understandi
Tracey Tief
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Although I am curious about life in other places and periods, I have never gotten through a work of historical fiction, appreciating neither idealized romance, violence/ warfare or brute sex. Beltane had me reading "just one more chapter" and though it was a substantial book, left me wanting a sequel.

The main characters are so roundly portrayed, complete with charisma, flaws, politics, nuanced religious beliefs, pasts, presents and hopes and fears, that had I never read the book, I feel I would
Dottie D
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Highly original work, with vivid characters and evocative period touches that made me settle right in. The writing style is formal and really works with a story set in the past. There are stories within stories, and the characters themselves enjoy hearing and telling tales. There's lots of racy stuff, and the author has definitely taken some license in imagining the sexuality of people, especially women, in the past. If occasionally straining credulity when it comes to sexual adventure - and why ...more
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I didn't know much about this period in history when I began this book, but it was a fun way to learn. The characters are extremely alive and well developed, and the writing style is so smooth and almost lyrical that I had trouble putting it down.
The author uses language deftly, and the plot moves easily from political to personal to spiritual to sensual. The characters and relationships develop in ways I didn't expect.

Chris W
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really good read!
I was quickly drawn in to this very original story. The characters of Margarete and those around her are skillfully developed and compelling.
I enjoyed the explorations of religion and sex that pervade this story.
I was sorry to to reach the end and have to put this book down.
Ayla Feasel
Sep 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: europe
I got this book from first reads it is different from the books i usually read but it was very interesting and highly enjoyable.
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the most beautiful and eloquent books that I've ever read. I really wish that I could rate it more than 5 stars.
It tells the story of Margerite, and Lise. They're traveling to Scotland, because her soon to be husbands family wants something her family wants, and vise versa.
Margerite and Lise were both such amazing characters, as were Owen, and Colin. I'm just kind of in awe, as far as the emotions this book made me feel. Sometimes I laughed, and sometimes I cried, but I do know
Jun 01, 2014 rated it liked it
An unusual story. I found that I was unsympathetic to the main characters, and disliked the deciept.
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Christine Malec
Mar 19, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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I’ve loved reading and writing ever since I was a kid. Both as a writer and a reader, I’m drawn by the lure of escape, either into the past or the future. What things about us are consistent across time and culture? I have been a practising Massage Therapist since 1995, and I do occasional editing and transcribing work, which satisfies my love of bringing order to chaos. I play guitar, and can occ ...more

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