Sunday, February 3, 2013

Emma Merritt -- Lord of Fire

Emma Merritt -- Lord of Fire Rated: ♥ ♥ ♥ . ♥   {3.40}
Action: ♠ / Emotion: ♣♣.♣ / Romance: ♥♥♥♥.♥ / Sensuous: ♦.♦ / Suspense: ♠♠♠
Action: 1.0 / Emotion: 2.5 / Romance: 4.5 / Sensuous: 1.5 / Suspense: 4.0  //  Historical Flavor: 3.5 / Laughter: 0 / Tears: 0

Setting:   Village of Wybornsbaer / Norse Kingdom of Southerland / Northern Coast of Scotland
Era:       625 A.D.
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Lord of Fire, Emma Merritt's first book in The Lord and Ladies Quartet, was a book full of possibilities: {1} the possibility of exciting action and adventure scenes featuring the extremely hunky, powerful highland chieftain, {2} the possibility of deep, heartfelt emotion as the former slave, now a strong-willed widow came to terms with her attraction to the barbarian, and {3} the possibility of an intensely suspenseful, dynamic story.   E.M. did an incredible job of immediately drawing great interest in the characters as she introduced them and began developing their personalities, but the story failed to hold the reader enthralled (using the above-listed possibilities) so this book was just too put-down-able.   But, it was also finish-able -- E.M. inspired enough interest that it was necessary to keep reading the book to see how the author was going to unknot the threads of the story that she began tying to prevent the hero and heroine from having a relationship.

The book opens in 625 A.D. when the half Pict, half Scot powerful Highland warrior, Malcolm mac Duncan, walks through the Village of Wybornsbaer in the Norse Kingdom of Southerland on the Northern Coast of Scotland.   E.M. knew just what romance readers wanted: to see a blatantly masculine, hard-muscled, ruggedly handsome Highlander through the eyes of Jarvia, who had been drawn to this gorgeous hunk of alpha male since she first saw him four years ago.   But then the story took a bit of a dive when Jarvia, in her determination to rule her own destiny, told herself that she would never act on that attraction.

E.M. has successfully appealed to the romantic nature of the reader by giving her a hero of Malcolm's alpha, indomitable spirit and had her sighing in the bliss of 'now this is what a dream hero should look and act like' and then throwing cold water on the bubbling waters of a budding romance by introducing Jarvia, a heroine who inspires no sense of warmth and connection to the reader (who is supposed to be stepping into the heroine's imaginary shoes).

By page 76, Jarvia's constant, long, drawn-out thought processes about how drawn she was to the big, bad Highlander, but was determined not to give in to her physical reactions to him began to get tiresome.   This penchant that Jarvia had for denying her lustful feelings for Malcolm defies all explanation to a romance-minded woman.   From the very beginning of the book Jarvia recognizes her strong attraction to Malcolm -- and is determined not to give in to it.   What is even more irritating is that the man Jarvia desires, lusts for her in return.   Isn't this every woman's dream come true -- that the man she desires wants her in return?

Malcolm had come to Wybornsbaer to tell the devious and dishonorable King Wyborn and Queen Adelaide that their daughter, Hilda, his wife of four years, had turned traitor, consorted with Highland rebels, then committed suicide, taking not only her own life, but also the life of their child, Malcolm's possible heir.   During these first chapters of the book, it became obvious that King Wyborn and Queen Adelaide were self-centered, despicable people, who would do anything to remain the tyrannical rulers of the formerly Scottish province, Southerland, that they took by force nine years ago.

Malcolm had taken Hilda to wife for two reasons: {1} to unite the Northen tribes of Scotland in a peaceful manner, and {2} to begat an heir that could follow in his peaceful footsteps.   Since Hilda broke the contract between Wybornsbaer and Clan Duncan, Malcolm demanded another brood mare from King Wyborn.   Since King Wyborn needed Malcolm's strong sword arm in case his clansmen back in the Northland decided to attack because of his previous perfidies, and because he had no more kinswomen to give to Malcolm, he and Queen Adelaide conspired to give Malcolm their slave girl, Gerda.   The King and Queen claimed Gerda was Wyborn's bastard daughter and that she would become legitimate by the simple rite of adoption.

As E.M. begins to weave the tangled threads of the story into a cohesive fabric, she fails to richly develop the personality of her characters (instead spending more time having Jarvia moon over the well-built Malcolm).   The story would have been better served had E.M. given readers a picture of Jarvia's history.   How did Jarvia meet her wise, elderly husband, Ein-her?   Why was Ein-her so drawn to the slave girl, Jarvia, that he purchased her from King Wyborn?   While it is understandable that Ein-her, the previous law-speaker to the Southerlanders, taught Jarvia reading and writing, how did it come about that Ein-her was able to convince Wyborn's advisors, the Council of Justice, to accept Jarvia, not only a former slave, but also a female, as Ein-her's successor as the law-speaker upon his death a year ago?   Is this why King Wyborn and Queen Adelaide exhibited such a marked hatred towards Jarvia?

E.M. spent so much time having Jarvia admiring Malcolm's physique while believing him to be a wife beater and, possibly, a wife killer, that she failed to convey the compassionate nature that Jarvia possessed.   Jarvia was a childhood friend of Hilda and when she went to visit Hilda two years ago, Hilda had confided that she was afraid of Malcolm, that he beat her and was too lusty a lover.   An additional character was added to the cast to create even more doubt about Malcolm's worthiness as a prospective husband.   Madelhari the Trader had just returned from the kingdom of Northern Scots along with Malcolm's warriors and was spreading false gossip regarding Hilda's death.

As the law-speaker, Jarvia was sent to Malcolm's chamber to tell him the news about his betrothal to Gerda, the sixteen year old girl that Jarvia had helped protect and raise when they were fellow slaves under the odious rule of Queen Adelaide.   This scene was particularly enjoyable in that {1} Jarvia entered Malcolm's chamber to break the bad news that could result in the barbarian losing his temper and killing the messenger, while {2} Malcolm thought King Wyborn had sent him Jarvia, the woman he was letching after, to mate with him.   E.M. did a great job on building the lust-filled romance budding between Jarvia and Malcolm as Jarvia fought her attraction and Malcolm displayed his superior seductive skills.

The plot began to deepen when Malcolm told the pleading Jarvia that he would be gentle with Gerda, his bride, if Jarvia would agree to become his second wife.   Naturally, Jarvia refused such an offer because {1} "she . . . longed to be wanted and loved for herself" (page 42) and {2} she was already betrothed (thanks to Ein-her's efforts to save her from the King and Queen) to Lord Lang Thorssonn of Ulfsbaer's son, Lord Michael Langssonn, a warrior she had never met, who had gone a-viking.   After Jarvia gave an impassioned, 'I will not marry that barbarian' speech before the King, Queen and Council of Justice, she learned that Gerda was pregnant.   Because she was determined to save Gerda and her baby, Jarvia decided that she must convince Malcolm to marry her instead.   Whereupon Jarvia decided to seduce Malcolm and revealed to him Ein-her's secret impotence -- the reason she had no children.

Having been published in January 1994, it was no surprise that the love scenes between Malcolm and Jarvia were filled with Jarvia's thoughts rather than entertaining readers with sizzling, heated, graphically descriptive encounters.   Malcolm displayed his seductive skills quite readily, and Jarvia's emotions began getting in the way of her efforts to keep Malcolm at arms-length as they found themselves insatiable for the other.   Yes, Malcolm and Jarvia eventually exhibited the passion and emotion necessary for a romance novel as they continued to make love, but by that time their love of letching was performed mostly off the pages.

Quite honestly, Jarvia's point of view was featured probably 75% of the time, so the reader only got to experience Malcolm's feelings of falling for Jarvia only about 25% of the time.   E.M. never gave readers the background details about Malcolm's relationship with Hilda.   She did explain Malcolm's belief that he could not allow himself the luxury of caring or needing another because it would make him vulnerable to his enemies.   Naturally, by the time the book closed, Jarvia had somehow reached through the barriers that Malcolm had wrapped around his heart, to give the readers the necessary 'and they lived happily ever after'.

E.M. finally inspired great interest and suspense to keep one reading after Malcolm and Jarvia were married and headed to Malcolm's home in the highlands.   Secondary characters were introduced that began to explain why there was such unrest and rebellion happening in the highlands.   E.M. began to give brief insights into the characters that surrounded Malcolm and Jarvia but did not give them well-developed personalities so they would began to feel like real people, intricately woven into the fabric of the story.

Jarvia's personal maid and housekeeper (inherited from Ein-her), Morag nea Rogan, was a slave because her husband, Nuall, and her father, Rogan, were killed when King Wyborn invaded her village nine years ago.   Morag was an interesting character and added a richer flavor to the story, but she faded into the background too often, sewing and tending to Jarvia.   One thing that failed to inspire warmth towards Jarvia was her tendency to laze about while Morag performed her duties.   Would not a former slave exhibit more of an attitude of friendship and 'let me help with that' than sitting around dispensing an aura of 'better-ness' while playing 'lady of the manor'?

There were such possibilities to be explored should E.M. have developed the personality of Lachlann mac Niall, Malcolm's best friend and comrade in arms, who stood by Malcolm's side throughout the entire book.   Lachlann was portrayed as a loyal, honorable friend, who would never entertain treacherous thoughts, like the traitor who was stirring up trouble among the highlanders.   Lachlann popped in and out of the pages at opportune times and inspired great interest -- but his personality was under-developed.   It would have been so intriguing to read about some of the adventures that proved Lachlann to be a comparable warrior to Malcolm.   It would also have been nice to understand why Lachlann was so enamored of Gerda.

Although Gerda was a strong thread woven through the story, her personality was never developed to the degree that she became a full-fledged member of the cast.   She felt more like a paper cutout figure who showed up at the appropriate times to force Jarvia to make the moves she made.   This lack of development for such an important character enhanced the degree of dissatisfaction experienced because of E.M.'s lack of secondary character development.

There were several warriors that traveled to Southerland with Malcolm who inspired minor interest.   It is understandable that these characters were not richly developed and their inclusion added a rich highland flavor to the story.   Malcolm's young clansman, Jamie mac Niall carried the huge horn that he used to sound the lur (a historical tidbit included for realism and flavor) when Malcolm arrived at the village of Wybornsbaer and again when he arrived home at Clan Duncan.   Another young man, Arthur, the bard, played the war song of Clan Duncan on the pipes as he was taught by his father and grandfather.   Arthur also served as Malcolm's interpreter.   Ghaltair, the final young man that Malcolm took under his wing was the son of Egan (beheaded for joining rebels trying to overthrow the ard-righ).   It was easy to believe that Ghaltair might be the traitor because of his bitterness at not being given his father's clan to rule and his anger and hostility toward others.

And even though she was introduced later in the story, the true trouble-maker of the highlands was revealed -- Malcolm's evil, beautiful, foster sister, Lady Sybil.   Sybil as the natural daughter of the current high king (ard-righ) of the highlands, Fergus, was enraged that Malcolm had stolen her birthright -- that of being elected by the Council of Chiefs to become the next ruler to replace Fergus.   Lady Sybil, unlike Malcolm, believed in the ways of the ancient ones and practiced black magic to make sure she become the next ruler.   It soon became evident that Lady Sybil was instrumental in the death of Hilda, and that she would do anything to gain her father's throne -- even promote her father's chest pains.

Jarvia finally began to come across as a compassionate, caring heroine of the story around page 210 when she rescued an abandoned baby and battered wolf.   Jarvia's caring nature was further enhanced because she was portrayed as a skilled healer as she tended the boar-gored leg of Brian mac Lagan, Malcolm's warrior and best-man of one of the largest houses of Clan Duncan.   But E.M. waited too late in the book to develop this aspect of Jarvia's personality -- to add the warmth that the reader needed to connect to the heroine.   Again, the biggest drawback to the book is that it was difficult to identify with the heroine -- even though it did help that Jarvia immediately loved and adopted baby Catriona and tended the she-wolf, Magda.

Several other secondary characters were introduced into the story to support Malcolm's background and to promote an interest in the next book of the series.   E.M. gave readers a brief view into the life of Malcolm's mother, Muirell.   Muirell, a Scottish princess, married Camshron, a Pict chieftain, and then bore twin sons.   Camshron's brother, Geoffrey, jealous of his brother, demanded that the youngest son, Malcolm, be killed as per the edict of the ancient ones, to prevent the evilness that twins were to possess.   Before Camshron could perform such atrocity, he and the eldest son were killed by Northland sea raiders.   Muirell and her servant, the Wise Woman, Feich, fled with Malcolm to the highlands, whereupon Muirell eventually married the high king, Fergus, thus making Malcolm his foster son.

But that was not the end of the story.   The distant kinsman to whom Ein-her had betrothed Jarvia, Lord Michael, is painted in bold, vivid colors as he travels aboard his ship towards the highlands to inflict revenge against Malcolm, the highlander who supposedly dishonored the House of the Wolf (the Langssonn's) by stealing back the rupture endowment that was paid to dissolve the betrothal between Michael and Jarvia.   (The reader, of course, knew that Lady Sybil was behind such theft.)   But what is so interesting about this larger-than-life warrior is that he can be none other than Malcolm's elder twin.   Naturally, this inspires one to want to read the next book in the series.   More than wanting to see the meeting of the twin brothers, is the intriguing thought of seeing the expression on Muirell's face when she realizes her first son is alive.   (Will this happen?)

One thing that was a major disappointment in this book about a powerful highland warrior is the lack of action adventure scenes featuring the prowess of this mighty warlord.   Even at the end of the book when E.M. presents herself with the wonderful opportunity of writing an exciting scene where Jarvia and Malcolm traverse the Chamber of Fire, E.M. fails to deliver excitement.   Instead the author concentrates on the emotional aspect of the situation by having the villagers line up to wish Jarvia good fortune before she enters the Chamber of Fire.   That might have been acceptable, except that when Malcolm rushes in to rescue his beloved wife, he, too, manages to make it to the end of the chamber without once displaying his phenomenal skills.

One other note of contention with the book.   E.M. inspired Jarvia's lack of trust in Malcolm in the beginning of the book because she visited Hilda two years ago.   Then much later in the book, when Jarvia arrives with Malcolm at her new home, she is awed by the beauty and wealth of Malcolm's home.   Why didn't Jarvia already know this from her visit to Hilda?

In essence, Lord of Fire was an enjoyable read, but it is definitely not a must read.   While the plot eventually became intriguing and drew interest, E.M. failed to develop the deep emotional connection to her hero and heroine that are necessary requirements for an outstanding read.   The question is: should E.M. be given another chance to prove herself (should not judge an author by one book) and read the next book in the series, Lord of Thunder, or should I pick up a book by a favorite author instead.
--Vonda M. Reid (Sunday, February 3, 2013 : 4:55 p.m.)     [297]

Books In The Series: "The Lords and Ladies Quartet"
# Date Title Hero Heroine
01.01-1994Lord of FireMalcolm mac Duncan; chief of Clan DuncanJarvia; Law-Speaker of Southerland
02.08-1994Lord of ThunderMichael Langssonn; Norse VikingCait nea Sholto; Glenmuir minstrel
03.09-1995Lady of SummerBrian mac Logan; Highland WarriorLady Gwynneth; Pirate Queen
04.11-1996Lady of WinterKolby of Apelstadt;Lady Raven;

Characters Found In "Lord of Fire"
Character Description
Malcolm mac Duncan[Hero] (1) Highland warlord; powerful body; dark brooding countenance; predatory grace of ferocious wildcat; clean-shaven features, sharp-carved from stone; black hair brushed against his broad shoulders; red and yellow plaid tartan; blatant masculinity; hard, indomitable physique; "everything about him bespoke power, might, and prowess with weapons of war"; muscular legs (1) prince of Northern Scotland; chief of Clan Duncan; deep, husky, sardonic voice; married to Hilda for 4 years (2) one of most feared warriors in kingdom of Northern Scots; chief of largest and most influential clan of Northern Scots; foster son of high king (10) rock-hard features (13) thoroughly liked women (15) half Pict, half Scot (16) broad chest with springy dark curls and clearly defined muscles; large feet in leathern boots; rugged face; hair black as Odin's ravens; vibrant, alive blue eyes like color of village loch, deep and fathomless (23) rich, lazy brogue; deep voice; seductive eyes (26) cunning; crafty; knew how to deceive and entice (28) black brows (29) darkly handsome face (30) moods vacillated; 30-y-o (32) thick black lashes (33) fearsome; bellow like a bull (34) strength, warmth, power of life emanated from him (43) not a gentle man; speaks his mind (44) exuded confidence; daunting; overpowering (47) leather, iron, herbal water scent; crinkles at corners of eyes (63) iron will (71) muscles rippled from his chest to his feet (91) Northmen killed his father and elder brother (101) hard man; indomitable; hewn out of the Highlands themselves; would crush anyone who prevented him from getting what he wanted (105) rugged handsomeness of one with the Highlands; golden bronze skin; thick black hair did not soften the angular hardness of his face, with its bold, square chin; lips hard, yet sensuous; broad shoulders and wide chest seemed to be hewn from Highland rock; thick, muscular legs; elemental; earthy (132) dominated his surroundings with his height and powerful build; dominated his people with his forceful, even ruthless personality (210)
Jarvia[Heroine] (1) fluent in Gaelic (2) slave in king's household during Hilda's formative years; served as Hilda's personal maid and companion (3) widowed 1 year; betrothed (13) wore matron's scarf; beautiful; silver-blond tresses (15) strong and sturdy of body (17) long fingers; appeared cool and aloof (18) hated by king and queen; spoke her mind; elected law-speaker by people (19) studied and memorized Norse law (20) widowed one year (27) beautiful hair the color of pure silver (28) modest (29) astute; bold (36) learned to hide emotions so could not be used against her (42) large woman (43) large, firm breasts (48) eyes framed by long lashes (49) free woman of property; rune master (57) woman of quality for 4 years (62) proud; spirited (90) opinionated (97) possessed more soul and passion than Hilda; more intelligent; craftier than several enemies put together (109) enslaved at 10 when parents died of plague owing Wyborn huge dept (149) good judge of character (185) honest (198) eyes the green of heather and bracken in springtime; hair shone like moonglow (245)
. . . . . .
Location / SettingVillage of Wybornsbaer / Norse Kingdom of Southerland / Northern Coast of Scotland / A.D. 625
. . . . . .
Queen Adelaide[Secondary Character] King Wyborn's wife; Hilda's mother // huge bosom; fat hands (3) odious woman; surely descended from the jotuns (20) deceitful; will go to great lengths to get what want (21) tiny eyes devoid of eyelashes (54) deep gravelly voice (56) jowled cheeks (58) coarse voice (112)
Angus[Secondary Character] leading a rebellion; married Sybil; wife died mysteriously (119) dark man with thick brows; deep-set eyes; red and green plan; no older than Malcolm, but face more weathered; long hair a deep shade of lumber brown, pulled back from his face, tied with a thong (283)
ard-righ[term] high king of Scotland
Arthur[Secondary Character] Malcolm's clansman; young man; red slash-sleeved vest that fit snugly over short yellow tunic; carried Highland pipes (11) bard and interpreter; played war song of Clan Duncan (12) father taught him to play pipes; grandfather played pipes (232)
Baird[One Appearance] warrior; challenged Malcolm and Lachlann; one of best in Clan Kinsey (265)
Keeper Beattie[Brief Appearances] master of the hounds (263) asked Malcolm's permission to adopt John and Ronan (264)
Berowalt[Brief Appearances] Wyborn's emissary to Malcolm's kingdom (5)
Bertha[One Appearance] Queen Adelaide's housekeeper; short; stocky (66)
Black King[Animal] Malcolm's stallion; Dbubh-righ (179)
Brian mac Lagan[Secondary Character] Malcolm's best man; burly warrior; same age as Malcolm; best-man of one of largest houses of Clan Duncan (119) became best-man when Egan turned traitor (124) wounded by sow boar (186) Brian mac Lagan (222)
Cain[One Appearance] Malcolm's scout (379)
Camshron[No Appearance] Malcolm's father; a Pict chieftain; killed by Northland sea raiders (147)
Catriona[Secondary Character] (222) abandoned baby; cherubic face; bright blue eyes; thick auburn lashes; auburn hair (213) baby found by Javia; talked Malcolm into adopting her; taking in an abandoned child was against the laws of the ancient ones; this action caused more strife for Malcolm
Chief Celdun[Secondary Character] Chief Celdun of Clan Donal; chief of third largest clan in Northern Scotland; one of Malcolm's staunchest supporters (287) used to frame Malcolm as a traitor (322)
Cleit[Brief Appearances] old man; wrinkled face; tended Malcolm's gate (252)
Council of Chiefs[Term] comprised of Highland Clan leaders and their best-men; elected Malcolm heir to king (108)
Council of Justice[Term] King Wyborn's advisors (35)
Ein-her[No Appearance] Jarvia's husband; dead (3) previous law-speaker; educated Jarvia; taught Jarvia reading, writing (19) made Jarvia his apprentice; blessed with great wisdom (20) died 1-y-a; painful illness (27) loved Jarvia (42) frail man in body; strong in mind and purpose (76) 48-y-o; impotent (79)
Feich[Important Secondary Character] the Wise Woman; guided Malcolm through his vision quest (148) blue eyes aged, but vivid and alert (249) arthritic hands (290)
Fergus[Major Secondary Character] (10): Malcolm's father; high king (4) Malcolm's foster father (10) old (16) yet a formidable figure; beat and thick hair, cut shorter than Malcolm's was pure white (252) not as tall and muscular as Malcolm, but still a large man (253) Muireall's husband
Chief Fibh[Brief Appearance] of the Northern Picts (125) Chief Fibh of Clan Ogilginn: of the Northern Picts; young man no older than Malcolm; black hair (312) came to Clan Duncan to attend Malcolm and Javia's highland wedding (312) insulted by Sybil (314)
Forbes[One Appearance] warrior; challenged Malcolm and Lachlann; one of best in Clan Kinsey (265)
Geoffrey[No Appearance] Camshron's brother (273)
Gerda[Major Secondary Character] slave to be adopted by Wyborn and Adelaide so can give her in marriage to Malcolm // Jarvia's friend; Adelaide's slave; shorn red curls (symbol of slavery) (14) 16-y-o (32) small; beautiful; highly intelligent (38) in Jarvia's keeping since a wee babe; king would not sell her to Ein-her when bought Jarvia (40) beautiful (52) pregnant by Sven (70)
Ghaltair[Important Secondary Character] Malcolm's man; cares for breeding mares (108) straight black hair, hanging to his shoulders, framed his long, gaunt face (119) Egan's son; young impressionable warrior; refused to believe father's guilt (122) joined monastery for a time; could read and write; distrusted by people (123) filled with anger and hostility (219)
Grand Rostrum[Location] Clan Duncan building; used for village gatherings (250)
Hilda[No Appearance] King Wyborn's daughter; married to Malcolm 4 years (2) close friends with Jarvia (3) committed suicide; traitor; assisted rebels (4) looked like angel; acted and spoke like a Lucifer; no honor (17)
Ingrid of Ulfsbaer[Brief Appearances] of Ulfsbaer, Northland; sister to Lord Lang (205)
Isabel[Brief Appearances] wife to Lug; married 2 years; wet nurse to Catriona (257)
Jamie mac Niall[Brief Appearances] Malcolm's clansman; young man; red slash-sleeved vest that fit snugly over short yellow tunic; carried huge horn; (11) sounded the lur (12) Jamie mac Niall (271)
John[Brief Appearances] older boy; adopted by Keeper Beattie; parents killed in Pict cattle raid (264)
Keenan[One Appearance] kitchen boy (311)
Lord Kirkja[Important Secondary Character] traveled with Madelhari (14) second in command and authority to King Wyborn; unruly red beard; Ein-her's closest friend; friend to Jarvia (55)
Labyrinth Hill[Location] used as a place of ancient worship; housed the Chamber of Fire (246)
Lachlann mac Niall[Major Secondary Character] Malcolm's best friend; twinkling brown eyes; Malcolm's comrade in arms (15) thick brows (107) Lachlann mac Niall (122) golden brown eyes (332)
Lonnie[Brief Appearances] member of Council of Chiefs; chief of Clan Galway (284)
Lord Michael Langssonn[One Appearance] [Hero of Book 2] Jarvia's betrothed; betrothed by proxy; Northland warrior; educated; loved to draw maps of lands he visited when he went a-viking; Ein-her's distant kinsman (21) a-viking for 3 winters; never met Jarvia (36) dreamer; sails a trading vessel (58) looked like father (206) strongly chiseled features defined a ruggedly handsome face; clean-shaven; wore silver torque about his neck; aristocratic bearing; governed with quiet authority, honed battle skills; a smooth, deceptively strong body; tall stature; confident stance; quiet demeanor; intellectual interests; taller, more formidable than his father (343) gloried in his education; ability to read and write the runes; could speak and write several languages; physical prowess; unusually gifted with strength and wisdom even as a child; excelled at whatever he did, games, contests of mind, endurance, agility; thick, broad chest; silver blue eyes beneath black brows (344) Lord of Thunder, son of Lang Thorssonn (345)
Lily[No Appearance] Angus's wife; young; died in sleep (119)
Lucy[Brief Appearances] young woman; Malcolm's house servant (255)
Lug[No Appearance] husband to Isabel; married 2 years (257)
Luthe[Brief Appearance] one of chiefs at council (348)
Madelhari the Trader[Brief Appearances] just returned from kingdom of Northern Scots; spreading false gossip (14)
Magda[Animal] (230): wolf; bitch, beaten severely it's fur matted with blood; raw exposed flesh at neck suggested it had been shackled (211)
Moonbeam[Animal] name of pony that Malcolm gave to Jarvia as a betrothal gift; 14 hands high (159) golden red mare (237)
Morag[Major Secondary Character] Jarvia's personal maid and housekeeper; highlander captured 9-y-a by Wyborn; Morag nea Rogan (Morag daughter of Rogan); wife of Nuall (12) Scot; servant to Ein-her (23)
Muirell[Major Secondary Character] Malcolm's mother; a Scottish princess; married at 17 (147) 48-y-o; black hair; blue eyes; stubborn (149) married Fergus (150) beautiful; ethereal softness to her face, framed by delicate veils (252) deep, melodious voice; tall; majestic; black hair and blue eyes like Malcolm; eyes had a lingering sadness (253)
Nabhin[No Appearance] Chief Fibh's best man (355)
Nott[Animal] Gerda's small black dog (130)
Nuall[No Appearance] Morag's husband; Highland warrior; killed when Wyborn invaded village (12)
Ragnar[One Appearance] arrived at village of Wybornsbaer to collect rupture endowment on behalf of Lord Lang; vassal to Lord Lang; young man; large; magnificently dressed; broad shoulders; warrior (153)
Robbie[One Appearance] Malcolm's stable boy (313)
Rogan[No Appearance] Morag's father; Highland warrior; killed when Wyborn invaded village (12)
Ronan[Brief Appearances] younger boy; adopted by Keeper Beattie; parents killed in Pict cattle raid (264)
Rudie[Brief Appearances] Christian high priest (297) large man; wore beard; thinning brown hair (349)
The Small Hall[Location] building that housed Malcolm's single personal warriors (250)
Sorcha[Brief Appearances] Brian's wife; 3 daughters (240) new baby boy (248) Catriona's wet nurse
Sven[No Appearance] gone a-viking; making payments to King to free Gerda (67) father to Gerda's child (70)
Lady Sybil[Major Secondary Character] Malcolm's foster sister; jealous; desired power (108) Malcolm's ex-lover (110) devious; a large woman; beautiful; loved gaming; wore dark auburn hair in long, single braid down her back; often dressed in trousers; could wield weapons with skill equal to warriors; soft in all the right places; Malcolm's first lover; intended to conquer the different tribes by force for the sheer pleasure of the fight (111) fully espoused the old ways; rejected the new god; as grew older, her magic became darker, used for evil purposes; vengeful against Malcolm for stealing her birthright; sought to humiliate Malcolm (112) deep sultry voice; cold brown eyes; heavily blackened lashes; deep fiery red hair; tall; willowy; full breasts; gently curved hips (278) heavy sweetness to her herbal essence (280) evilly beautiful; cold, harsh features; eyes shadowed with hostility and malevolence (286)
Thomas[Brief Appearances] Malcolm's man (108) graying hair (119)
Lord Lang Thorssonn[Rare Appearances] Lord Lang of Ulfsbaer; negotiated terms of Jarvia's betrothal to his son (57) wife died 7-y-a; old lord; thick black hair; thick black beard (206) tall, burly man (343) Lang Thorssonn (345)
Tindell[Brief Appearances] warrior; member of Council of Chiefs; believed silver fox died because Jarvia rescued Catriona (284)
Ulf[Animal] Michael's silver-gray wolf; found as a pup; loyal only to Michael (343)
Vass[Brief Appearances] lad riding with Thomas (356)
King Wyborn[Major Secondary Character] Queen Adelaide's husband; frightened of Malcolm (2) 9-y-o took Southerland from unsuspecting Highlanders by force (9) banished from Northland after being accused of murdering his brother and entire family as they slept (10) fears attack by clansmen; desperate for an alliance (17) deceitful; will go to great lengths to get what want (21) beard (53) High Ruler of Southerland (58)

"Lord of Fire" Quotations
42Her anger at life's injustices boiled over.   . . .   she . . . longed to be wanted and loved for herself . . . (Jarvia)
98She had promised herself that if ever she were free, she would allow no one to dictate to her again.   Even after that day had arrived, she had hidden her emotions so that no one -- no one -- had been able to touch her real self -- the soul that resided in her body.   That belonged to her and her alone.   (Jarvia)
140You create the situation, then get angry without provocation.   (Malcolm)
180He had stirred this longing in her, had awakened her to desire.   Once awakened, she could not deny her feelings.   (Jarvia)
183. . . her gentleness.   It touched him in places no one else had touched.   He was not sure if that was good, or if he liked it, but he had to have her.   He feared that her gentleness would cause him to need her.   This must never happen.   (Malcolm)
258"Why is it that the women who want children do not have them and those who do not want them have so many?"   (Muirell)
293Would he never find that portion of him that was missing?   (Malcolm)

"Emma Merritt -- Lord of Fire" Review and Information Links
Rated Posted Site Notes, Comments, Etc.
----Emma MerrittNovember 12, 1940 -- October 18, 1995
. . . . . .. . . . . .
3.20 average{4 reviews}Amazonas of: February 3, 2013
--{no reviews}Barnes & Nobleas of: February 3, 2013
----Compiled by Connie BeckList of Emma Merritt's Books
----Fact FictList of Books In "The Lord and Ladies Quartet"
----Fantastic FictionList of Emma Merritt's Books
----Fiction DBList of Emma Merritt's Books
4.00 average{17 ratings}Good Readsas of: February 3, 2013
--{no reviews}Historical Romance Writersas of: February 3, 2013
2.88 average{4 ratings}Library Thingas of: February 3, 2013
3.30 average{9 ratings}Paperback Swapas of: February 3, 2013
--{no reviews}Shelfarias of: February 3, 2013
3.4002-03-2013Wolf Bear Does Booksshorter post on Amazon, Fiction DB, Good Reads, Library Thing, Shelfari

♥   Disclaimer:   I Purchased This Book
♥   Very Subjective Rating
♣   Will add your Lord of Fire review link to table, just ask

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