On Bended Knee
There’s something about Scottish historicals that just seems to take hold of the imagination, and the heart. Maybe it’s the men and women, or the brogue we can hear in our heads while we’re reading. Maybe it’s Scotland’s rich history that casts a spell over the reader. Whatever it is, Tanya Anne Crosby’s book, On Bended Knee has it. The reader truly feels transported while reading this novel of love and hope.
The story’s heroine, Seana, has decided that she wants to marry Broc Ceannfhionn and she wants Colin Mac Brodie to help her. When they were children, Broc was always kind to Seana, acting as her protector when the other children teased her because of her lame leg. Seana has grown into a lovely young woman and is determined to make Broc happy as his wife. The problem is, Broc doesn’t notice her as a woman. Colin does. But Colin was cruel to Seana as a child and she hasn’t quite gotten over it yet. Colin determines to help her, thought he’d much rather keep her for himself and Seana begins to question what her real feelings for Broc are.
Seana grew up with only her father for company. She is an independent woman who wants to do the best she can for him. Her selflessness and courage are very admirable; I came to like her very much indeed. Colin, on the other hand, grew up with a father who demanded perfection in others. Colin has inherited this flaw, but recognizes his flaw, though he feels powerless to change it. Loving Seana makes Colin realize that he if he wants to change, he can. If being considered a good person means letting Seana go to Broc, then so be it.
The secondary characters add much to this book. Colin’s sister Meghan treats Seana as one of her own kin and Meghan’s marriage to Lyon Montgomerie (Lyon’s Gift) is one Seana envies. It is through them that Seana begins to rethink her feelings on love and family. It’s also a pleasure to see how the Brodie siblings are bonded to one another. Seana, since she is a loner, spends a great deal of time watching the way these secondary characters interact with one another. We get to see these characters through Seana’s eyes, as well as our own. Seana’s wistful reaction to them is heartwarming. This particular use of secondary characters was unusual, and worked very well.
There are also other undercurrents at work in this story, those between the Scots and the English, and this is where the one problem I have with the book comes in. The reader feels like they may have missed part of the story as it seems to come in smack in the middle of a good amount of turmoil and feuding. It takes awhile to grasp what is going on in the story if you haven’t read the two preceding books.
While every book should stand on its own, I found myself wanting to read the first two books in this series, and plan to as soon as I can. I hope that the characters and setting are as wonderful in the other books as they are in On Bended Knee. If you are the in the market for a heartwarming and sometimes heartrending read, this is the book for you.