Return of the Warrior
Kinley MacGregor
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Buy *Return of the Warrior* online

Return of the Warrior

Kinley MacGregor
384 pages
May 2005
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars
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In her latest book, Return Of The Warrior, Kinley MacGregor offers up the second installment in the Brotherhood of the Sword series. The Brotherhood is a secret society of men who forged a deep bond during their time as prisoners of the Saracens. Even though they escaped and are now free men, the atrocities they suffered while imprisoned still impact their lives. Their fearlessness and their allegiance to each other is unshakeable. Return of the Warrior is Christianís story.

Christian of Acre has never had a real home - in fact, heís never even seen his motherís home country of Elgedera. Members of the royal family, his parents chose to hide their identities and become pilgrims. Christianís childhood was spent traveling from place to place, never staying more than six months anywhere. When he is little more than a boy, his parents leave him at a monastery for a night, promising to return for him. They are murdered that same night, and Christian remains at the monastery for the next six years.

His time in the monastery comes to an abrupt end when it is attacked. Many are killed and Christian ends up becoming a prisoner of the Saracens. After being sequestered in a monastery cell for six years, he spends the next six in a squalid jail cell with other prisoners. His nickname becomes the Abbot because, although he is still barely a man, he becomes the closest thing to a priest that the men have in their prison. They cling to each other and their humanity by forming the Brotherhood of the Sword.

Christian is now a fierce warrior who wears his sword and armor beneath his monkís robes. Still a wanderer, he is currently in England trailing a friendís murderer. He returns to his room at the inn and is confronted by a beautiful naked woman who claims to be his wife.

Queen Adara of Taagaria is desperate. As the last surviving child of the royal family, she has ruled her country for the last two years on her own. But now her claim to the throne is in jeopardy. Many feel a woman should not rule without her husband, and Adaraís husband has been missing for years and is presumed dead by many. Now Selwyn, the evil prince-regent of Elgedera, is threatening her and her people. The only way to save her country is to find her missing husband, so she sets out on the treacherous journey to find him.

Christian does not recognize Adara at first. The last time heíd seen her was when he was eight years old and she was but a girl of six. He thought that they had only been betrothed and had assumed that it must have been broken years ago. But Adara produces a marriage certificate that proves that they are indeed husband and wife.

After all his years of imprisonment, freedom is everything to Christian, and he has no intention of losing his freedom to an unwanted marriage - especially one that will make him king of two countries. He does not want to be enslaved to a throne and to a people he does not even know. Unknown to Adara, political assassins have followed her, determined to kill both her and Christian. With them both gone, there is no one to stop Selwyn and his army from taking over both countries.

Adara convinces Christian that the death of his parents and the attack on the monastery were not accidents. Many attempts have been made on his life over the years, and now Christian comes to realize that Selwyn is behind them all. Christian knows that he must restore Adara to her throne even if he does not plan to stay married to her.

Adara and Christian have both lived apart from others, and both have dealt with it differently. Christianís isolation is due to his wandering ways as well as the years of imprisonment. As a member of a royal court, Adara grew up never being able to trust anyone, even her own family. Christian does not want love or attachments of any kind as he seeks to protect himself from the pain of love and loss. On the other hand, Adara longs for someone to love only her - someone she can trust. Her entire life, she has nurtured the dream that she would find it with Christian, but now he wants no part of their marriage.

Return Of The Warrior is a riveting tale of politics, intrigue, assassins and adventure. But at its heart, it is a story of love and the many forms that love takes. The friendship among the men of the Brotherhood is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The well-developed secondary characters offer glimpses of future stories in this series. As Christian and Adara flee for their lives, they find their own strengths, face their own demons and discover that love is indeed the greatest power in the world.

Kinley MacGregor has penned yet another book that is destined for the keeper shelf. This story will make you laugh and it will make you cry. But more than that, it will touch your heart and leave you waiting anxiously for the next installment in this series.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Norma Collins, 2005

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