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The King's Mercy

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  123 ratings  ·  101 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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4.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  123 ratings  ·  101 reviews

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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 added it  ·  (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
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
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
*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 Che
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
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,
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.
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
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
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. Str
Paula Shreckhise
The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton is a fantastic Historical Christian Fiction Epic tale.

It is set in Cape Fear River, North Carolina during the years 1747 and 1748.

Alex MacKinnon has been given “ The King’s Mercy “ in that he will not be executed for treason against the English King but be transported to the Colonies and indentured for the next seven years. He is a Scotsman who found himself on the losing side of a war and has not found mercy in his allegiance to King James, Bonnie Prince Charlie
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
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
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
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
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Superb!! Could not stop reading!! Ms. Benton writes with her heart and leaves blood, sweat, and tears on each page, as you can feel it pulsate with life as you read. The characters leap off the page and into your heart from Scotland, to deplorable conditions crossing the Atlantic, to Severn Plantation and beyond. I fell in love with Jemma and cried my eyes out over her situation. I admired Joanna and her admirable strength and kindness to the slaves. Ms. Benton’s research is impeccable and sweep ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley
I was so excited to read this and thrilled to receive an ARC. I’ve read every book by this author and I love her writing!
This takes us through war, death, pirate ships, Native Americans and southern plantations There was a lot going on in this story and lots of side characters to follow. Although there was actual slavery in this story I felt like all the characters were in a sort of slavery situation and would have to find away to get they’re freedom. As in all if LB books God is the main
Lori Benton pens another riveting tale, filled with love, loss, darkness, danger, and faith. This author is one of those authors whose books you know will be a rich historical adventure. And in the 1700s, no less! One of my favorite eras! Her novels never disappoint.

In The King's Mercy we meet a Scotsman named Alex MacKinnon who has been exiled to the colony of North Carolina. Mistress of the plantation he's to be an indentured servant on, is a young woman named Joanna. While he's plotting escap
Trisha Robertson (Joy of Reading)
see full review at:

This epic story is both poignant and heartfelt. I enjoyed the journey from Scotland to Colonial North Carolina. I was transported into the pages of this story with the vivid descriptions and dynamic characters that welcomed me into the pages of their lives and let me walk alongside them in their struggles and triumphs.

Savvy readers will discover an underlying parallel between this story and a Bible story from the New Testament. But I wo
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Of all the retellings of fairy tales and Shakespeare plays and bible stories that I've read, I've never before encountered one inspired by Philemon (nor thought to look for one). But Lori Benton has done it, framed masterfully in the turbulent colonial era.

This is Alex MacKinnon's book. Joanna is a wonderful heroine, strong, compassionate, and captivating, but Alex is the one who drives this story, much as Willa was the driving force behind Burning Sky. His is a hard road--defeated in battle, im
Spencer Riley
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I've read several of Lori Benton's books. She creates wonderfully full and absorbing characters, which is first and foremost what pulls me into a story.

I like the characters in The King's Mercy. Especially Joanna. She is a strong character who is steadfast and has overcome a lot in her life. I also love the growth that Alex experiences. He's a charming man, and being Scottish doesn't hurt at all. haha

There are several parts of this story that are a too slow-moving for me. Because the book is s
Dan Curnutt
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Alex MacKinnon is a Scot who joins in the fight for his country against the British empire. He is captured during battle and taken prisoner. Taken to England and detain in deplorable conditions he and his fellow prisoners are in failing health and dreading the death that the British will put them to, hanging until they are dead.

But then the King decides to provide mercy for 9 out of every 10 prisoners. Those 9 will be spared from hanging, but they will be deported to the American Colonies and so
Marianne Denning
This is my first Lori Benton book. She writes beautifully...draws you in with great character development and a story that captures your fears, your thoughts and your heart.

Alex MacKinnon's life changes at Culloden Moor in 1746. He becomes an indentured servant in North Carolina. There he meets Joanna the step-daughter who runs the plantation. They come to realize the depth of their respect and affection for each other, but Alex's disbelief in God crushes their future.

I hate reviews with spoiler
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very well written book that holds your attention until the very end. This is not a book that you will "speed read', but a book you will take your time with so you don't miss anything. I enjoyed every minute I spent reading this book and look forward to reading more of Lori Benton"s books. Thank you WaterBrook & Multnomah via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this wonderful book. This is my honest opinion and I highly recommend this book.
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.

May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“In every ending,” Alex said, “there’s also a beginning. That’s a thing I’ve learned.”

Impeccably written and well developed, The King’s Mercy is complex and filled with descriptive detail. I loved the book’s depth and voice and the way the story stays in my head. This sixth novel from author Lori Benton brings together an unlikely pair; Alex MacKinnon, a bitter young man exiled from his native Scotland and sold into indenture and Joanna Carey, a hard working young woman dedicated to doing the ri
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This author continues to be a must-read one for me. She continually transports me deep into her stories in the way I yearn for. The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton is rich in plot, characterization, wonderful adventure and lessons I took to heart! There were so many times I set the book down just so I could reflect and savor a paragraph before continuing. Lori Benton is a brave writer who dares to challenge herself in where she takes her readers. I highly recommend!

Lucette Nel
This is the first book by Lori Benton that I've read. She has a way with words but I had a hard time getting through this book, The King's Mercy was very slow and my attention wandered all the time. I felt no connection with the characters.

I'm thankful to the publisher and Netgalley for the copy of this book. My views expressed in my review are my own and voluntarily.
Jennifer K
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can’t say enough about this poignant story which touched my heart. Before I realized it, I was invested in these characters. I found myself aching for them, as well as, cheering them on as they faced harsh struggles. Even the romance involved toil. Lori Benton’s storyline had me turning pages, drinking it in, while taking deep breathes at the same time. Anyone who is facing difficult circumstances will be encouraged by the faith lessons seamlessly woven into this stunning work of fiction. I ho ...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
“If there is a God, I wouldna trust Him with anything of matter to me.” 0 likes
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