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The King's Mercy

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  517 ratings  ·  213 reviews
For readers of Sara Donati and Diana Gabaldon, this epic historical romance tells of fateful love between an indentured Scotsman and a daughter of the 18th century colonial south.

When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king's mercy--exile to the Colony of North Carolina--he's indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will Alex is
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by WaterBrook
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Average rating 4.44  · 
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Melissa Tagg
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cannot even process how much I loved this book. THIS is why Lori Benton is at the absolute top of my favorite author list. Not just favorite, FAAAAAVORITE. Full review to come when I've settled down enough to talk intelligently about this story. 💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗

OKAY - circling back to write a full review:

I finished this book like a month ago, but I needed time to be able to talk about it without just gushing nonsensically! Lori Benton is an amazing storyteller. I really just can’t get over
Lori Benton
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Hello reading friends. It's nearly release day for The King's Mercy and I wanted to share a note about how I came to write this story.

Toward the end of the New Testament is a short epistle the apostle Paul penned to a friend, a wealthy man in Colossae called Philemon. In this letter Paul writes concerning a man he encountered while a prisoner in Rome--Philemon's runaway slave, Onesimus.

A few years ago, with the events described in this epistle stirring around in my mind, it occurred to me that
While this is an excellent book, it isn’t my favorite by Lori Benton. I think mainly what I’m missing is some of the deep spiritual lessons we got in her last few publications; I didn’t cry over characters and I didn’t feel like my heart was being ripped out alive.

Alex is a colorful character and I really enjoyed the scenes of getting to know him. It’s not a common plot angle to have someone who’s transported to the Colonies for treason, and the fate of the Jacobites has always fascinated me. No
Sarah Sundin
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lori Benton is simply a master. Her characters and setting are live things, at turns warm and heartbreaking and sinister. The King’s Mercy is a touching and tense story, with a strong and meaningful faith story, and the characters will stay with you. Highly recommended.
Deanne Patterson
Once you start this book the pages will come alive for you. The author pours her heart and soul into this book. It is so well researched, the historical time period described perfectly down to the smallest detail. Such an abundance of characters they all have an important part in the story running well.
The character's are so realistic you could almost feel the pain,struggles and joys they went through.
This is the first book I've read by this author but I am looking forward to reading more by her
Elizabeth Dragina
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I JUST CAN'T EVEN. *Is flabbergasted*

This is my first Lori Benton book, and after having a couple hours of "cool down time" to slowly adjust back into reality I believe I'm ready to write a coherent review. *clears throat*

I will--to be sure--picking up more of Benton's books, and possibly placing them on my shelf of the treasured library at home.

TBH most of my five star books surprise me in an amazing way, which is why they end up on my Favorites shelf. ((I'm not a super duper critical person
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, favorites
No matter the time period, Lori Benton writes with the same deft hand and compassion for history and culture. Even more, for the depths of a person's personal history, be it the main characters or the secondary ones.

Maybe that's why I can't choose a favorite and why I can't point one as her best yet. To me, when I read Lori Benton's books, it's going into a venture of the heart, and I can't take it lightly.

Alex MacKinnon knows lost and knows what it means to fight for the land he loves. Though h
Captured rebel Scotsman, Alex MacKinnon, is granted the king's mercy and exiled to the colony of North Carolina as an indentured blacksmith to Englishman Edmund Carey. Against his will Alex is drawn into the struggles and plight of the black slaves at Carey's plantantion. Joanna Carey, Edmund's stepdaughter has a servant's heart and feels deeply for her black friends and wants to see them freed. Meanwhile, her father has pushed for her engagement to Phineas Reeves the plantantion overseer. Numeo ...more
The King’s Mercy once again shows Benton’s skillful handling of history and prose. Gorgeously descriptive, yet subtle in the best way, this is a story about flawed people in desperate circumstances – yet redemption is within reach, if only they will wait for it.

The pacing of the novel has a bit of a slow build up to what ends up being an epic, expansive story. And the descriptions, oh my! From the terrain of the unforgiving yet unspoiled landscapes, to the tension between characters, all is brou
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ahhhhh!!! Cannot cannot wait for this, you guys!!


And the wait was worth it!
Without fail, Benton's novels promise to be an immersive experience through a gritty and relatable world that simply builds itself around you. Her characters are real, her settings are memorable, and the sagas that they weave are rich, moving, and utterly satisfying. The King's Mercy is no exception. A cast of characters unfolds like a beautiful tapestry, but quickly unravels with each page's turn until you're left h
Michelle Griep
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are two or three authors out there whose writing blows me away so much that I want to hang up my hat and call my own writing quits. Lori Benton is one of them. This girl! This story! Sweet mercy! I savored every word of The King’s Mercy.

The story starts out with a rugged Scotsman fighting for freedom but ends up landing on the wrong side of that ideal and is banished from the country. He’s sent as an indentured slave to the Colonial south, destined to become a blacksmith—an occupation he k
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
Lori Benton's words flow seamlessly to create a story that takes you away. In The King's Mercy, her trademark imagery and historical details are present. What struck me as especially strong in this novel was the storyline. The tale is twisted and so incredibly engaging. Alex MacKinnon of Scotland is a powerful main male character. I adored secondary character Jemma. Another spectacular novel by the talented Lori Benton.

My gratitude to publisher Waterbrook for a complimentary ARC of the novel. I
*I received this book from WaterBrook & Multnomah publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.*

In her trademark style writing style, Lori Benton brings forth the story of Alec and Joanna in a way that unfolds at just the right moments. From the start my emotions were high and although the details are not written like a suspense story, it makes you want to keep reading until the end.

This book had a slightly different feel than her other books, but she weaved in the Cheroke
Beth Erin
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full review (and giveaway ending 6/20/19) on

The King's Mercy is masterfully vivid with emotionally intimate depth and solid spiritual strength. Lori Benton's skillful storytelling is captivating and illuminating as the age-old conflict of light and darkness unfolds page by page.

I love Alex, he is a warrior yet vulnerable, independent yet indentured, and a fierce force of brute strength and tender devotion. Alex's story requires a grand scale, a wide spectrum of emotion, and
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I’m not sure how she does it, but Lori Benton created such a vivid story that just came to life! The details were so rich! It just blew me away! I got so wrapped up in how their lives were unfolding. I absolutely loved this! I loved Alex and Joanna! This just might be Lori Benton’s best book yet! I highly recommend it!

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Epic in every sense of the word!

Lori Benton once again proves she is a master storyteller in this monumental tale of a young Scotsman who is taken from his beloved homeland and thrust into a new life in the American colonies. Her keen attention to detail and beautiful prose allows the reader to experience the beauty of this new world as Alex MacKinnon travels to the plantations of North Carolina to a Cherokee village within the beautiful mountains to the west. Alex meets a young woman, Joanna,
Karen R
An epic read that brings history to life! Alex MacKinnon's journey from the battlefield at Culloden Moor in 1746, to become an indentured servant in colonial North Carolina, is a very difficult one. As an exile from his Scottish homeland, he has lost everything, yet a new life awaits with other major challenges, including those to his heart and soul.

This is an absorbing tale, with great characters struggling to overcome many difficulties, yet it is a hopeful story, underlined with a spiritual th
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Upon the conclusion of this breathtaking novel, I slowly closed it with a hesitant, almost reverential awe—not desiring to leave the tumultuous, but hauntingly beautiful journey I'd traversed and the new friends I had made and will sorely miss.

Alex MacKinnon is a man of character and honor, albeit bitter and mournful of the life he lost because of his indenture...but definitely made more tolerable from his 1st gaze into the mesmerizing, ever changing sea-colored eyes of the compassionate Joanna
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoy every book I've read by Lori Benton. I liked this one, but my favourite still remains The Wood's Edge (The Pathfinders, #1) by Lori Benton .

The King's Mercy was an emotional story with lots of pain and hard lessons for the characters. Joanna's revelation of what she really wanted for herself and her slaves were quite a challenge for the time she found herself in. She was compassionate and loving, but there was a part where I wondered why she didn't do something differently. (view spoiler)
Andrea Cox
FTC Disclosure: WaterBrook Multnomah gave me a complimentary copy of this book. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts.

The waves of grace wafting throughout this book were beautiful. Each of the characters had choices to make that either gained grace or refused it, and their inner peace was so dependent upon those crucial decisions. This was an exquisite depiction of the choices people today have at their feet and the consequences—good or bad—of how each of us decide.

Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
The King’s Mercy was an epic tale that truly made me feel as if I had stepped back in time. I loved the flashbacks in the first portion of the book that allowed me to glimpse the battle and what happened to Alex MacKinnon before he arrived at Severn Plantation.

I enjoyed the many varied characters throughout the novel and appreciated getting to know their stories. The romance that blossomed between the two main characters was fraught with complications, as was so much that happened in the story.
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"If there's a God, I wouldna trust Him with anything of matter to me."

Scotsman Alastair Seamus MacKinnon's heart for God was abandoned on the battlefield, a casualty of the failed Jacobite uprising. Granted the "king's mercy", after surviving the deplorable conditions aboard a British prison ship, Alex's freedom consisted of banishment to the Colony of North Carolina as an indentured servant; a virtual servant for the period of seven long years.

Upon arrival at Severn Plantation, Ales begins his
Alex McKinnon is a Jacobite who survived Culloden only to be exiled and sold into indentured servitude in America. He’s been told that only the King’s mercy has kept him from execution yet it does not seem like kindness to him. When a man of God talks of his King’s mercy, Alex is skeptical about trusting a heavenly King. Yet God seems intent on giving Alex a new heart, a new love, and a new home.

So glad I spent time with this satisfying story! Lovely writing. Sympathetic hero & heroine. Strong,
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lori Benton is one of my favorite authors. I love historical fiction and she is such a talented author when it comes to creating characters and settings. This book seemed a bit different compared to her previous novels. The writing style and flow weren't quite what I was expecting. But all that to say it is a wonderful historical fiction read! I loved the setting and I really thought the characters had a lot of depth, especially Alex. There were a lot of difficult issues and uncomfortable situat ...more
Susan Snodgrass
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
'There isna mercy to be granted, by king or God. He was all but certain no God cared enough to grant it.'

Alastair MacKinnon left God on the battlefield of Culloden and hasn't had need of Him since. Alex is taken captive and granted the king's mercy, but it's no mercy to him. Sold as an indentured servant for seven years in NC's colony near Cape Fear, Alex knows no mercy as far as he is concerned. Alex is to be the new blacksmith at Severn, a vast property with a multitude of slaves, a practice h
Lydia Howe
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019

Solely because of the author.

In fact, I just now (as I'm writing this review) read the back cover for the first time. And goodness, may I say it gives way too many spoilers? Seriously, it's giving away plot twists that don't happen until probably three-fourths of the way through the book. I'm so glad I didn't read the back cover before I read the book. 

But back to the author. I read Many Sparrows several years ago and really liked it, although because of some content issues
Caitlyn Santi
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars!
For years now I have heard nothing but wonderful things about Lori Benton's books, but I had never gotten around to reading any of them. Needless to say I jumped at the chance to request a review copy of The King's Mercy, and I can wholeheartedly say that though this was my first Lori Benton book, it will definitely not be my last!
I will admit that it took me awhile to really get into this book, and due to other review commitments it took me much longer to read this book than it normal
Jun 23, 2019 marked it as abandoned
Shelves: colonial-america
Not my cuppa tea, I am moving on and returning this to the library. Multnomah Press and its associates are too extreme for me. Plus, I will never forgive them (and the author) for the way Redeeming Love was butchered on the rewrite. Get the original Bantam edition and see for yourself.

Note to clarify, when I mention author, I am not speaking of the author of this book, but the author of Redeeming Love.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Based on 15%: the story is slowly progressing. When Alex meets Joanna, I was hoping that the story would pick up at this point. But it continues with the same style of writing of slow progression. It is not an engaging read for me to continue with this book.
Jocelyn Green
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lori Benton has always set a high bar of excellence with her historical novels, and The King's Mercy earned the same golden standard we've come to expect. The characters, setting, story, and spiritual depth make this a must-read for fans of fiction set during the 18th-century. ...more
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Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bond ...more

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