Sunday 1 October 2023

Royal & Ancient - Amanda Lauer

Royal & Ancient
ISBN 9798887090313

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. But we will get back to that in a bit. The description of this novel is:

“Bronwyn Campbell's end-of-summer plans were simple: wrap up her job at Saint Andrews Country Club, meet her friends one last time at the virtual reality arcade, and move across the country—again—with her father. But when lightning strikes while she's working the club's Saint Andrews Heritage Day, she's transported from an American fairway to the home of golf, The Links at St. Andrews, in Scotland—and in the year 1691, no less

When Iain MacDonald discovers Bronwyn knocked out cold on the seventeenth green, little does he know their meeting would change not only the course of their lives but the course of history. The son of the chieftain of Clan MacDonald, Iain bears the weight of responsibility for his family and his clan's survival on his shoulders. Family drama and the growing discord over religion in Scotland add to the heavy load he carries daily while stepping further into his role as future chieftain

As political events between England and Scotland heighten the conflict surrounding the MacDonald lands, Bronwyn and Iain rely upon their shared faith and growing feelings toward each other for survival. Amid the questions that plague both of them, though, one stands out: How can you be with the one you love if your choice ultimately influences history?”

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. And the story oft times intense. The role of family and clan are well portrayed from my reading of history. And the story flows really well. The short story Lent Royal & Ancient mentioned above continues from the events in this story. I picked up the stand along short story eBook version to reread it as soon as I finished this volume. I recommend you pick it up and read it after reading this, either as the single or in the anthology, and you get 9 other great stories.

This was a volume that was hard to put down. I believe two of my daughters are going to give it a read, and maybe even my wife. Overall, this was a very entertaining read. It is a great story in what I hope will be a series. It is a book I can easily recommend for tweens, teens, young adults and adults. 

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

Royal & Ancient Series:

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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