Thursday, April 29, 2010

Review: Queen of Swords by Sara Donati

From the Back Cover:

It is the summer of 1814, and Hannah Bonner and her half brother Luke have spent more than a year searching the Caribbean islands for Luke's wife and the man who abducted her. But Jennet's rescue is not the resolution they'd hoped for. While captive, she gave birth to Luke's son but was compelled to surrender him to a stranger in the hope of keeping him safe.

To recover the infant, the trio must begin a journey that will lead them to New Orleans and to a powerful, corrupt family who now claim him as their own. But in a city on the brink of war, the Bonners' plans go awry, isolating them from one another. And when Hannah falls ill, only an old friend can save her - and only an influential stranger can engineer a miracle that will reunite her family.

My Thoughts:

This is the fifth installment in Donati's Wilderness series, chronicling the lives of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Bonner and their children, and after spending some time on the backburner in the previous book, my girl Hannah is front and center again. She is, in fact, the Queen of Swords, according to her cousin Jennet's tarot cards: A woman possessed of keen logic and intuition. Forthright is she in manner, and well-armed.

And the Queen of Swords is dealt the Ace of Wands:
A new adventure that must be met with a bold spirit. A primal force released.

This chapter of the Bonner family saga finds our friends in New Orleans. Sultry, sexy, steamy New Orleans. A city teeming with people of all races, of mixed races, of slaves and free persons of color. Hannah is herself half-Indian, but in her hometown of Paradise, a little village on the edge of the New York wilderness, whites, blacks and Indians have learned to co-exist somewhat peacefully. This is not the case in New Orleans, and Hannah is faced with bigotry, disrespect and danger as she works to aid both her family and the ailing Indian community.

But she also finds solace and love. Hannah finally opens up about what happened to her husband and though she still feels a strong connection to Strikes-the-Sky's spirit, she can't help but be drawn to a sexy and mysterious man who challenges her to own her identity and encourages her to open her heart again.

This is yet another good adventure in a series I really enjoy, in fact, it's one of the better ones. I miss Paradise, but I've always been fascinated by New Orleans, and Ms. Donati does a terrific job of bringing the many facets of it to life. I do have a couple of minor quibbles: I found the scenario that brings them to New Orleans to be a little far-fetched and I'm still not a big fan of Jennet. I think she's reckless and selfish, but her actions do make for good story. And since this is the only book in the series that does not take place, at least in part, in Paradise, a lot of characters are missing from this story and we have to settle for just a few glimpses of them in letters. But when our "trio" find themselves trapped in the city by the American and British armies with their enemies closing in on them, guess who shows up to save the day? (I think I actually stood up and cheered at this point :)

The Endless Forest, which is the final book in the Wilderness series, came out late last year and has gotten very good reviews. But I'm not going to read it yet. I'm not quite ready for this story to end.

My Rating:  4.5 Stars out of 5


  1. I am so glad you enjoyed this one. It was my favourite until I read the last book a couple of weeks ago. The only bad things about the last book are the fact that it is the last book and also that there is nowhere enough Ben. What a man!

    I am currently rereading the first book and just loving it all over again.

  2. This sounds really interesting. I'm putting it on my TBR list!

    I also just gave you an award. You can find it here.


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