Saturday 21 October 2023

Lent Royal & Ancient - Amanda Lauer - Royal & Ancient 1.5

Lent Royal & Ancient
Royal & Ancient 1.5

Lent Royal & Ancient - Amanda Lauer

I have read a couple of short pieces by Lauer in the Catholic Teen Books Anthologies, and I have previously read one of her other historic fiction novels. But this piece is fairly different. The previous novel I read was A Love Such as Heaven Intended, which is book three in her Heaven Intended series. I have also read pieces in Treasures: Visible & Invisible and Ashes Visible & Invisible, which continues this story. This piece previous appeared in Ashes, Which I read three times. Reading this story as a standalone is my fourth time reading this story. The description of this novel is:

“When a lightning strike transports Bronwyn Campbell—a high school senior from modern-day America—to 1600s Scotland, it’s the end of the world as she knows it. All is not lost as she finds the man of her dreams, the handsome and indomitable Highlander Iain Campbell, but will she be able to overcome the challenges of living in a world lacking in physical and mental healthcare? She’s called on to use skills she doesn’t even realize she possesses. The consequences of her actions could alter the destiny of one family for generations to come.”

Bronwyn is out of place and out of time. But she is finding that she fits in better than she ever did back in modern day USA. This story begins on February 23, 1692, in Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland. The story begins with these words:

“For the past ten months, I, Bronwyn Campbell, a typical American high schooler, had been living the life of a Middle-Ages Scottish lass. Or at least what I thought was the Middle Ages. I never could remember the exact years that the various historical ages started and ended.

I’d come to love this ancient land, the beautiful people inhabiting it, the old Church and its sacraments, and a certain young man named Iain. I truly believed that God had sent me to the seventeenth-century Highlands for a reason.

That being said, I’d experienced my share of heartache too, especially in the last ten days. Tragedy had struck the MacDonald clan. I shuddered just thinking about it. A lump formed in my throat and I blinked back the tears that threatened to spring up again.

While I’d once prayed to go back to my old life, I now prayed that God would allow me to continue building a life with Iain. Especially after he’d been thrust into the role of clan chieftain and would be depending on the support of the people around him that he knew and trusted.”

This is very moving story of finding your place in the world; even if you are shifted in time and space. It is about friendships, living for God, and learning to serve. It is a wonderful story.
I really enjoyed this story, this and most of her other novels are not in a genre I typically read. They are historical fiction with romance. But as a father of teenage girls, and someone open to almost any story I gave this one a try. I can honestly say I really enjoyed this. As I was reading it I mentioned it to my wife who is a huge fan of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. She read me the first volume during our first year of married life. This one definitely has a feel and there are similarities. That being said, this story is much cleaner. I loved the presentation of the Catholic faith during the time of persecution. I also really appreciated the family and two main characters all being people of faith, with a deep personal practice of the faith. 

My own heritage is part Scottish and part Irish and over the last few years I have read much about the persecution of Catholics under the crown of England. Reading parts of this story could have been like reading family history. The story is masterfully written. The characters are well fleshed out and you will find yourself cheering for them. The pace is excellent. The role of family and clan are well portrayed from my reading of history. And the story flows really well. 

Even after 4 readings this story still inspires, challenges and will move readers. I believe two of my daughters are going to give it a read, and maybe even my wife. It is a great story in what I hope will be a long series. It is a story I can easily recommend for tweens, teens, young adults and adults. It is excellent Catholic fiction.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Amanda Lauer:
Anything But Groovy
Lucky and Blessed
Dubbie: The Double-Headed Eagle

Heaven Intended Series:
A World Such as Heaven Intended
A Life Such as Heaven Intended
A Freedom Such as Heaven Intended

Contributed to:
The Best is Yet to Come by Lorene Hanley Duquin
Living Virtuously by Erin Harrison
Royal & Ancient - Amanda Lauer

Lent Royal & Ancient - Amanda Lauer

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