Today I have the pleasure of reviewing E. Knight’s Highland Hunger novel, which was first released in several parts before being condensed into the whole. It’s a planned book series, as well. I was first intrigued by the branding of this book. Eliza and her graphic artist, Kim I think, did a cool job of branding this series with appealing graphics for the book cover, bookmarks, other graphics, etc. Take that from someone that’s been in marketing for 18+ plus years. So, yes, the graphics pulled me in. What else? Well, I love the movies and TV show, Highlander, and I’ve liked Scottish lore since I was little and I lived in England and my American parents were enamored by Scotland. I also like Disney’s Brave, does that count? Also, I like plaid. Joking.
Now if that wasn’t enough, I also really like the medieval times, their games, their Kings and Queens, their legends, and their drama. I like their fierce and strong women as well. Furthermore, in regards to what this book seems to take a nod from, I also REALLY like the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, which by the way, I read the books before the movies and find them extremely well-written. With the use of the phrases, “Let the Games Begin” and “May the Gods Be Forever In Their Favor” it’s pretty obvious that there is a reference used. I thought maybe she could have left off using the latter phrase and opted for something more Scottishly original; however, it may sell books.
However, E. Knight brings us a really well-brainstormed and imaginative story from the Scottish Isles set in the medieval times in which a male and female are chosen every five years from a series of war games. They are married and rule the land until the next games. I liked her unique twist on the games and that there are two winners to be married at the end. It’s very interesting the dynamics that this two-win marriage created between the game players in the book. I love this premise!!
When I first opened the novel, I was immediately drawn in by the “legend,” which was a kind of prologue that told of King Olaf and the legend of how the games began. I’m a sucker for that type of thing. I would have enjoyed reading more of that story. However, I enjoyed meeting the protagonist female warrior, Ceana, from the start and watch the story from her eyes. I liked her determination. The first couple chapters, though fine, weren’t enthralling enough for my taste however. Maybe I wanted more legend, or more visuals, but I didn’t feel sucked into the story anymore.
As the novel went on, it gave me a darker taste of these games to the death as the characters deal with all sorts of emotion stemming from the killing, the stress, the decisions, the mourning, and basically, being human. I am glad she gave them their humanity, whether it be in being sad for those who had died, or in the feral attraction between Ceana and Macrath. Of course, E. Knight will write adult fiction in a sexy and real way. She accomplished that well. I am sure she knows how to write the steamy romance that most romance readers are pinning for!
I haven’t read any of her other works beside her Eliza Knight Tudor Series, so I can’t speak of how this compares to her other romances, as I don’t normally read a ton of romance unless it is underlying to a historical fiction. If you’re wondering though, of course it does have sex, violence, and a dark side, but no more than many other things I read. It isn’t overdone and most adults should be fine reading it, but I don’t think it should be given to your teen reader if you are strict about sex in their reading.
It was entertaining in many parts and lulled in others. It wasn’t a book in which I wanted to turn the pages like flash lightening. I had hoped it would be. I would have preferred more grit myself and for her lead lady to be more of an independent warrior that needed no man. I probably would have been able to read even more dark and war-like parts myself. And I’m not into the story line where males get jealous of each other and fight over the female. Or when the man is possessive or dominant. That is just me and so I don’t want to mislead my own followers. But understanding what E. Knight writes, I can see it fits her writing and her fans would love it. Anyone who likes a heavy romance set amid some drama will love it.
One other hold up for me was that I was halted a little in getting into the story in a fluid fashion by her sentence structure. Though in most parts fine, in quite a few cases I didn’t like the short, choppy, or incomplete sentences. That is the editor in me though, wanting to fix the sentences and make them flow more. I also wanted to remove or place many commas. I didn’t notice this as much in her Tudor series, so I am not sure why it was hiccuping me so bad here. I also like sentences filled with emotion, details, or visuals and felt her needed a little more work. I am so sorry to say this, but I have to be honest, and as I’ve been an editor for a long while in all shapes and forms, I hope it’s nothing more than just helpful. If others aren’t bothered by this in their reading, then that is quite alright too.
I enjoyed checking it out and I’d continue to read the rest of the series. I applaud her for trying something new and I think it’s really different from anything in the historical fiction realm. I’ll be giving it a 4 on Amazon for her imagination and plot construct, but I’d like to give it a 3 for better editing and depth to characters and details. And I’d give it a 5 for marketing and packaging! I’d even buy dolls if she put them out for purchase.
Overall, if you like steamy medieval romances from the Scottish Highlands and are looking for something entertaining, imaginative, and fun to heat up your dark nights, then start with Highland Hunger and enjoy her unique historical romance series. Romance fans will stand up and cheer for the victors!
Publication Date: September 18, 2014
Knight Media, LLC.
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Romance
***ALL FIVE GAMES!!!***
An unclaimed land in the Scottish isles is ruled by the male and female victors in a series of war games every five years. Named Chief and Lady of the land, they rule the vast holding, and protect the people by divine right, until the next game begins.
After her brother’s death Ceana is named laird. The only way for her clan to survive the ravages of the Highlands is to join in the war games. Bastard son of a powerful earl, Macrath is placed in the games by his vengeful stepmother. He must survive for the ultimate retribution.
Ceana can’t afford to like the formidable, captivating, Highlander who seems to be following her, and yet she can’t seem to walk away. Macrath wants nothing more than to protect the enchanting warrior lass, but doing so may get in the way of his need for revenge. What starts out as a race to survive turns into passion to endure together.
May the gods be forever in their favor…
Buy the Book~
Author E. Knight, Bio~
E. Knight is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America and several RWA affiliate writing chapters: Hearts Through History, Celtic Hearts, Maryland Romance Writers and Washington Romance Writers.
Growing up playing in castle ruins and traipsing the halls of Versailles when visiting her grandparents during the summer, instilled in a love of history and royals at an early age.
Feeding her love of history, she created the popular historical blog, History Undressed (www.historyundressed.com).
Under the pseudonym Eliza Knight, she is a bestselling, award-winning, multi-published author of historical and erotic romance.
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