5.0 out of 5 stars A fun adventure!
I picked up this book on a whim, after having not read a romance novel in over five years. What a way to be brought back in! I can honestly say this book is the reason I've read five romance novels in the past three days. I blame the author! (In a good way.)
I'll just start with the observation that there was a great balance in this story--the obstacles are well-written...
Published on June 1 2004 by Megan
3.0 out of 5 stars Overall a good read
This really wasn't a bad book. However, for the sake of the readers, instead of talking about all the things it did well, I will simply focus on what could have been better (and let the reader decide). First, the heroine seemed a little too foolishly independent. She was stubborn and a little ridiculous with all the times she was going to "strike out on her own" in a...
Published on Oct. 8 2002 by Marie
Most Helpful First | Newest First
2.0 out of 5 stars A breeze to read,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Legend (Mass Market Paperback)Perhaps my opinion of this book is affected because I read it immediately after reading Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, but this book was kind of a joke! I guess I am used to heavy details, realism, lushly written and complex characters. The author seemed so monotone and the language was just so skeletal. It seemed like a blow by blow account with not much feeling. I really didn't "worry" about the characters that much and the villain - well, he just seemed villainous because - he felt like it??? It would have been much more intriguing if the mother was behind it and sent David out to kill James or something (seeing as how odd her behavior was at James and Ellen's relationship). That said, the love story was very sweet and this book was a breeze to read. Fun and light.
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun adventure!,
This review is from: The Legend (Mass Market Paperback)I picked up this book on a whim, after having not read a romance novel in over five years. What a way to be brought back in! I can honestly say this book is the reason I've read five romance novels in the past three days. I blame the author! (In a good way.)
I'll just start with the observation that there was a great balance in this story--the obstacles are well-written and uncomplicated. Ellen has her mission (save her cousin) and Jamie has his (prepare his brother's clan for a possible war.) The way Givens intertwines the two characters and their pasts was well done and made for a fast read. I was sorry when it was over.
The secondary cast is strong as well, and not the typical "best-guy-friend-who-likes-the-heroine-and-provides-her-with-wisdom-and-affection."
One observation I had, and it's neither good nor bad, was that the author attempted to write the Scottish burr into her characters, especially Neil and Jamie, and I was appreciative. It's just a little detail that didn't go unoticed.
I've already ordered the sequel, "The Destiny," to see what happens to Jamie's brother, Neil and his bride. Can't wait!
1.0 out of 5 stars Dragged on forever!,
This review is from: The Legend (Mass Market Paperback)This book is terrible... I don't understand how it got such great ratings. The characters were not well-developed and their romance lacked credibility. Even the name of the hero seemed ripped off from another novel. I was so annoyed reading this I didn't even finish. This book put me to sleep! If you want true historical romances, read Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. Now THAT's a real romance.
3.0 out of 5 stars Overall a good read,
This review is from: The Legend (Mass Market Paperback)This really wasn't a bad book. However, for the sake of the readers, instead of talking about all the things it did well, I will simply focus on what could have been better (and let the reader decide). First, the heroine seemed a little too foolishly independent. She was stubborn and a little ridiculous with all the times she was going to "strike out on her own" in a dangerous country and during wartime. Second, I thought the jealousy between Neil and James was silly. Any truly close brothers would not begrudge each other's happiness and Neil simply ended up seeming childish. Third, the murder plot was a filler and completely useless only because we knew from the beginning who did it. Also, the characters were suspicious of the murderer for no real reason except that they didn't like him. I can think of several of the characters who would have been so much better in the "surprise" role of murderer. (Ellen's previous suitor instead). On a side note: these criticisms are simply that. I do not mean that this book is not a good read; it is. I am merely trying to help readers weed out the best writers as I am a very picky romance reader myself. I am also aware that there are several other reviews already written about the strengths of this book. I just thought I'd warn readers of the weaknesses as well... thanks for reading my opinion!
5.0 out of 5 stars For lovers of TRUE historical romance!,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Legend (Mass Market Paperback)If you are expecting what, these days, passes for "historical" romance - dominated by love scenes, too contemporary dialog and a thin plot that barely resembles history - this book is not for you!! Kathleen Givens takes the reader back in time to 17th century Scotland to the Jacobite war to keep William of Orange from usurping the throne from King James Stuart. But don't get me wrong. There is definitely romance - a beautiful, sweet, sensual romance between Highlander James MacCurrie and Lowlander Ellen Graham.
I won't go into plot, as the book description above is sufficient. But do expect the romance to share almost equal time with the uncertainty and unrest in Scotland at this time in history. But don't imply from this that this story is slow, bogged down in history or dull. On the contrary, I found the book well written, fast-paced with a strong story. It reminded me of the Jean Plaidy books I used to read as a very young history loving teenager. And that's a compliment and a comparison I'd make with few authors today.
Jamie was adorably sweet, kind, caring, sexy and almost instantly smitten. Ellen was smart, independent, loyal and genuinely unaware of her appeal until she meets Jamie and is also smitten! There is none of the contrived BIG MISUNDERSTANDINGS that are so typical of lesser romance novels. These people are honest with each other and very like real people and, as other reviews have pointed out, the obstacles that these two face are external socio-political events that they have no control over (like a war!). There is also the conflict between Jamie and twin brother (and Laird) Neil over Ellen's presence and role in Jamie's life (Neil is jealous of Ellen's claim on Jamie's time and attention).
This book will be followed by a companion book - Neil's story due out 3/03 titled "The Destiny" - and from the excerpt it looks as good as this one. I'm also hoping that there was a hint that cousin Duncan will also get his own story :) ?
If you love TRUE historical romance, this book is a great read!
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-stopping suspense with vivid imagery!,
This review is from: The Legend (Mass Market Paperback)I simply could not put this book down. Givens takes the historical romance genre to a new level...this book is sophisticated, genuine and unique. And a nailbiter! The characters are so believable you may feel like a long lost member of the clan. I simply can't wait to see what the next story from this masterful author will be and I highly recommend her other books - Kilgannon and the Wild Rose of Kilgannon - for readers who love a little romance, a great story and a trip to the highlands of Scotland.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great,
This review is from: The Legend (Mass Market Paperback)Twins are born under the spell of a prophecy in this 17 century Scottish tale. I really liked the idea of this book but somehow the storytelling of it was not what I thought it would be. The romance aspect between Ellen and James was good, but, it seemed to take a backseat to the history in this novel. Also it was sort of choppy as far as pacing. I would just be starting to get into a section and BAM. Cut to a new part. Sometimes the cut was only for a paragraph or so, which made it distracting and sort of disjointed. But aside from the author's style (I have never read Miss Givens before) I did like most of the book and I will be picking up the next one about the other twin Neil. Like I said in my title - good but not great.
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting era of highland history! -- Very highly recommended,
This review is from: The Legend (Mass Market Paperback)A lightening strike divides a mighty oak yet lives. Consequently, a seer tells the legend of the MacCurries: three generations of lairds will be born and will die on the same date. Then twins will be born to the third son and they will lead their people to both war and to fifty years of peace. The twins of three generations of men who died on their birth dates, nothing has ever come between brothers James and Neil...except a woman.
Ellen refuses to settle for less than a passion that transforms if she is to ever marry. She certainly does not expect to find that passion on the road Dunfllandy Castle as she flees her family home to warn her cousin John of a plot of murder. The would-be assassins pursue Ellen until James MacCurrie comes to her rescue. But he cannot even reveal his true identity since he is taking his twin's place at the gathering of clans.
Even as passion draws Ellen and James together the coming war keeps them divided in this tumultuous account of an exciting era of highland history. THE LEGEND begins with James story and leads to the sequel that will follow Neil's quest for love. The richly developed characterization, especially the strength of the bond between the brothers and Neil's jealousy when that bond weakens, lends the novel a marvelous depth. In addition, the tightly woven plot draws readers into a dangerous world of loyalty and betrayal. A must read for historical romance lovers, THE LEGEND comes very highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars Experience a Scottish Romance the way it should be told!,
This review is from: The Legend (Mass Market Paperback)Setting: Scotland
THE LEGEND begins with the death of the great clan leader and father of Neil and James, two twins that are cast into a role fate has predestined for them. The seer prophesies that two brothers would lead the clan to war, and then to 50 years of peace. Both brothers would marry a woman from the East and the women would share a name.
Ms. Givens weaves a stunning tale of politics and warfare in 17th Century Scotland. As the highland clans prepare for battle against King George of Orange in their support of King James Stuart, James encounters Ellen Graham. Ellen Graham is on her way to warn her cousin, John Graham, of a sinister plot of assassination.
James, a handsome black-haired warrior with blue eyes, is smitten by Ellen and the feeling is mutual. His care for her is immediate and continual throughout the story. Indeed their conflict does not lie with their relationship and feelings for each other but the storm of history they are swept up in.
This is a masterful tale rich in action, adventure, and passion cast against very real historical events. It will set your heart pounding with excitement as you experience highland clansman, fierce in battle, or the passionate love between James and Ellen. Reading this book will make you desperate for more, and you are in luck...there is a sequel.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Legend (Mass Market Paperback)I loved Kilgannon and The Wild Rose of Kilgannon so, I just bought The Legend without reading any reviews. I knew it would be great.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
The Legend by Kathleen Givens (Mass Market Paperback - July 1 2002)
Used & New from: CDN$ 0.01