Review: The Warrior of Clan Kincaid

Title: The Warrior of Clan Kincaid
Author: Lily Blackwood
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Release Date: July 2018
Length: 310 pages
Series?: Highland Warrior #3
Genre: Historical Romance

Derryth MacClaren is on the run. Traveling under heavy guard, she has been sent from her castle home to avoid capture by the vicious nobleman known as the Wolf, who has vowed revenge against the Clan Kincaid, and any who support them. When a surprise attack leaves her vulnerable, Derryth ends up in the hands of an enemy warrior who claims her, with the Wolf’s blessing, as his prize. But her captor’s gentle words and touch seduce her heart—and body—completely…and when she discovers the tattoo on his arm that proves him to be the legendary, long-believed dead son of the murdered Laird of Kincaid, Derryth knows she must find a way to alter his fate—and her own.

Cull has no memory of his family or past—all he knows is the life of a warrior, trained to fight on behalf of the Scottish king. If he can help the king’s law officer of the North, the Wolf of Badenoch, defeat a rebellious faction of Highlanders, Cull will be met with untold riches beyond possessing beautiful, innocent Derryth. But now that she has informed him of who he really is—Cullen Braewick, the youngest son of the slain laird—he is torn. If Cull exacts revenge against the Wolf, who executed his father, he stands to lose the precious lass who he has come to love. What is he willing to sacrifice for Derryth to keep her safe…and in his arms? 

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

This is apparently the third book in a trilogy, which I didn’t know until after I finished the book. I’m glad I read this one first, though, because I LOVED it. I rarely rate books 5 stars, but this is one I did. And so many were praising the first and second book, so I’m glad I wasn’t tainted going into this one with those in the background of my mind. But now I SO want to go read the first and second books.

This installment in the trilogy focuses on Cull the Nameless. He has no memory of his childhood prior to being sold into slavery. Now as an adult and Scotland’s best warrior, he follows the orders of Buchan, the man who saved him from life as a slave. He will forever bear the mark of the slaver on his body, and nothing can change that, always a constant reminder of his previous life and the faithfulness he owes Buchan.

However, Buchan, known as The Wolf, has an interestingly twined past with the Clan Kincaid that is slowly revealed throughout the book and ultimately comes to a full head near the end of the novel.

While serving with devout loyalty to The Wolf, who is known across the land for his destruction and power, Cull and one of Buchan’s sons begin to question certain logistics of battle plans. There isn’t much actual violence of battle in the book, but quite a bit in regards to preparing for it.

The current assignment is to seize the castle nearby that is under Niall Kincaid’s leadership. Niall is the first son of Laird Kincaid. Many years prior, other clan lairds overthrew Kincaid, murdering him and his wife. While their three sons were never found, it was the long-held belief that all three perished in the conquest. Over the years, the two older brothers surfaced and resumed their rightful places. But The Wolf insists these two men – Niall and his brother, along with all of their clansmen – are fakes because all three of the boys were killed. These men and their supporters must be usurped from the keep…just like the ones before them. They are going against the crown!

Derryth MacClaren is Niall’s sister-in-law, younger sister to his wife. She has lived with them for years, but Niall already has heard stirrings of potential danger and is adamant about sending her far out of harm’s way. He sets her out with a small group of clansmen to another family member’s care, all disguised as common peasants. Despite their careful attention to their own landscape and using lesser known trails and paths, they are set upon by a band of men. The Kincaids fight like hellions, including Derryth. She is covered in mud when Cull discovers the skirmish. But once she is cleaned up, lo, she is beautiful.

Derryth and her party must hide their identity, become enmeshed with the King’s Guard, to survive, but also find a way to protect their clan. But Cull the captor and Derryth the deer have an irresistible attraction that they must navigate. For they are still enemies.

I loved both Cull and Derryth, along with a couple supporting characters. They both stood strong for what they believe in, but had respect and trust in one another. Well…except for Derryth trying to run away. There is a growing relationship built on some good foundation, and even though he is the elite of the King’s Guard, Cull does not have that toxic masculinity of his time – he listens to Derryth, tries to engage her. And of course, there are some steamy moments!

There is treachery, politics, drama, intrigue, twists, turns, surprises, and so much to this book!

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