Magnar by Mary Morgan

Magnar by Mary Morgan
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical, Paranormal, Romance
Rated: 5 stars
Review by Dryas

Known as the Barbarian, Magnar MacAlpin is a fierce ruler for those under his command. As leader of the Wolves of Clan Sutherland, his loyalty and obedience lies with Scotland. However, the king’s last demand is not something Magnar will tolerate.

After Elspeth Gunn’s brother the Chieftain of Castle Steinn is murdered, she flees with her nephew, and finds safety amongst a band of men who are rumored to be part wolf. When the king forces her to wed a heathen Northman, she fears losing her heart and soul not only to the man, but the beast as well.

In order to restore peace to a shattered clan, Magnar and Elspeth travel a treacherous path that challenges their beliefs. When evil seeks to destroy ancient traditions, will Magnar be compelled to restrain his wolf or allow him free to protect those he loves?

This is a novel that drew me in from the first page. The characters, plot, and the culture with its beautiful scenery makes it hard to stop reading. Each character is so well fleshed out that they feel like a part of your family and I couldn’t help laughing, crying, and cheering them on.

The plot starts out with an idea that I have not seen before. This novel deals with the gods of Norway and Scotland: Oden, Freya, Jiroh, and Loki to name a few, along with druids and seers.

A long time past, there had been a huge war between Norway and Scotland and the people cried desperately to their gods for vengeance. The druids and seers prayed to the gods and the gods gave the ability for volunteers of man to be able to turn into wolves and their human forms to be stronger than before.

During the reign of King William of Scotland, the leader of the wolves, Magnar, finds out his mother has passed and has held a secret. He has a twin brother.  This is supposed to be impossible as the magic is supposed to allow only one child in the family to be able to change. Otherwise there would be fighting for dominance and one could be killed. This situation causes his heart to ache as he thought his brother should have stayed with him instead of being sent away and Magnar didn’t know what had happened to him. He had made up his mind that he would ask his brother to join the Southerland wolves. His brother’s story weaves in with Magnar’s along the way.

Then things get really interesting when we are brought to castle Steinn in Scotland where a Lady Elspeth, the sister of the Lord of the Castle and her nephew Erik were attacked by Bandits who killed the Lord. After escaping they were lucky enough to run into some of Magnars men who escorted them to King William. As Erik is now the Lord of Steinn castle, the King sends Magnar and his men to reclaim the castle. There is one catch, the bandit leader Halvard has declared that Elspeth is his wife and thus he is the legal lord. To solve the issue, the King orders Magnar and Elspeth to wed.

I love the character of Magnar. He is driven to protect those under his care and is extremely loyal especially to one man, King William, The Lion of Scotland. He has ties to two countries as most of his men do, both Scotland and Norway. He is a man who holds his emotions under control, and he is confused by how strong his feelings for Elspeth are. I enjoyed the way the author had him interact with the wolf, although the man is alpha he is in touch with what his wolf needs and makes sure that he gets it. It’s enjoyable watching him fighting his feelings and his lust of Elspeth. He is a man of honor as is shown by the vow he gave her, saying he would not take her in the marriage bed until she allows it. It’s also sweet watching him with Erik, taking him as a ward and showing Erik how to become a leader. It melted my heart.

Elspeth is another wonderfully developed character. She is a strong woman who takes everything that life throws at her with strength and forbearance. She follows the new religion of today and this causes some friction between her and Magnar as she feels uncomfortable about his religion. An example of her strength is how she protected Erik on their journey south. I enjoyed watching her fight her feelings for Magnar as they journey onwards towards Stienn to regain the castle. She even inspired loyalty in his men. Her stubbornness is legendary, not allowing anything keep her from completing any task.

Then there was the adorable Erik, who is only about 6 years-old and now holds the burden of learning to become a lord. It twisted my heart knowing that his childhood was lost to him forever, and increased my hatred for the barbarians who attacked the castle and killed his father. Watching him grow is impressive and Magnar’s men recognize a great lord waiting inside him. It’s also sweet watching Magnar take a great interest in his education and they develop a bond that is strong as iron.

Another great part of this story is the language the author uses. It’s just like hearing the old language yet it is still understandable. The scenery is beautifully described, with its mountains and wonderful forests with clear streams.

The love between these two people is sweet but hot at the same time. There are some wonderfully described love scenes. Loyalty runs throughout the whole story and keeps the wolves a tightly knit community who will give their lives for each other. The author does a wonderful job of capturing the culture of the time. I highly recommend this book not only for the romance, but for so many other reasons that are too long to list. Just make sure you have plenty of time before picking this up, as you won’t be able to put it down.

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. James Robert says

    Sounds like a great book to read.  Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway.

  3. Mary Morgan says

    Oh, my! Thank you so much for your beautiful review for MAGNAR! I’m thrilled to read how much you’ve enjoyed Magnar and Elspeth’s story!

  4. Victoria Alexander says

    Sounds like a good book, thanks for sharing!

  5. Sounds like a great read.

  6. WoW! Congratulations, Mary!

  7. Eva Millien says

    I love this book and the previous series by Mary Morgan! Congrats Mary on the great review! Thanks Dryas for sharing your review!

  8. Melody DeBlois says

    This is an excellent review and makes me long to read it. Congratulations, Mary!

  9. Sounds like a very good book.

  10. Mary,
    Your book, your book
    is on my list!

    What a fabulous review!

  11. Petie McCarty says

    Great review! Yay for you!

  12. Cyndy Rempel says

    Congratulation on another great book!

  13. Great review for a brilliant book!

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