Spell of the Highlander
Karen Marie Moning is one of the few, if not only Time Travel authors I have ever been able to read. The books are fun and don’t seem to take themselves too seriously without completely mocking the genre. I open a KMM book expecting a good time, a hunky Celtic, and a curse or two thrown in for good measure. Spell of the Highlander really didn’t disappoint – but it also didn’t breath new life into this long-running series.
Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is the most noble, Celtic, Druid practicing, cursed warrior of them all? Cian MacKeltar, a sexy hunk trapped in the mirror for over thirteen hundred years by an Unseelie curse, plotting revenge and doom with naught for company save gray stones and books. Hey, what more could a sorcerer with a blood grudge against another sorcerer want? Well…besides help with the vengeance thing.
Lucky for him, Jessica St. James shows up as a favor to her professor, who was in a car accident and needs her to go to his office and sign for a package. Wouldn’t you know, the package is the mirror, and the delivery company refuses to just drop it off. The instructions say they must have “visual verification”. And Jessi ends up with one hell of a visual before she locks up the office – a last glance at the mirror gives her a view of a half-naked, sex-god of a man.
Cian is a hottie, he knows it, and he isn’t above using it to get his way. Jessi has spent so much time on getting her PhD and trying to become an archaeologist that she is over worked, underpaid, and most importantly, ripe for the picking. But Cian’s magyck doesn’t work on Jessi, so he is forced to get creative and use something different with her. Too bad the truth is an option Cian uses rather late in the game.
With Jessi’s help, Cian hopes to keep the baddie, Lucan Trevayne, from getting the mirror back. Cian brings new meaning to the term “focused”, and will do anything or give anything to keep the tithe from passing through the dark glass at midnight on Samhain. But like any good baddie, Trevayne will do anything to see that it does.
at tithe? What curse? Why is a hunk stuck in the mirror? While this book, along with the previous six titles in the series, answers these questions, it doesn’t break any new ground. Worse, it all seems to have gotten rather stale, even if we are treated to a reappearance of Dageus, Drustin, and their wives.
Actually, this book almost earned a recommendation. But the predictable and rushed ending, along with a heroine who doesn’t live up to her billing, knocked it into just better than average territory. It’s true that if everyone had been honest, there would have been no need for the last fourth of the book, but the fix was too easy. A lot of work could have been avoided with a little help from our friends: trust and truth. As for Jessi, while we are told she is smart, her behavior is sometimes childish, and she seems unable to care for herself. She may not have been the one trapped in the mirror for over a millenium, but she’s out of step with the times. Perhaps that’s why she and Cian make a good couple.
If you can overlook those points and thousands of “ken,” “doona,” “aye,” and the like, Spell of the Highlander reads quickly and is easy enough to follow even without a trusty copy of Seelie/Unseelie for Dummies. But as to where it fits with the rest of this series, this one doesn’t stand alone well. So if you decide to check out Moning’s series, I wouldn’t recommend starting here.