J. Ardian Lee,
Sword of King James
(Ace, 2003)

I am a fan of Scotland. I have never been there, would like to go there and, no doubt, romanticize it a bit. I think it is a very cool place. After reading her book Sword of King James, I have to tell you that I am now a fan of J. Ardian Lee, pseudonym of Julianne Lee.

Sword of King James is a continuation of two other books, Son of the Sword and Outlaw Sword. The hero of this particular book, Dylan Matheson, is a man literally out of his own time; a contemporary American, he has been sent back to ancient Scotland after traveling overseas for a vacation and to research his clan's Scottish history. Now established in the past, he tries to raise his two young children while maintaining his place as part of Clan Matheson. But the English troops occupying Scotland are bored, restless and do what they can to incite trouble among the oppressed citizens.

At night, the Succubus-like Morrighan, Celtic goddess of war, torments Dylan's dreams. Morrighan is desperate to force Dylan to love her and tell her the secrets of the future so that she may cause future wars and bloodshed. Dylan's own fairy, Sinnan, has lost much of her magic, since so many people of Clan Matheson have little time or interest in the old ways, and Morrighan places a spell on her, leading to still more problems.

Thus, there is science fiction, magic, ancient Anglo-Celtic history, love, remorse and passion, all mixing into a hell of a good read. This is not to imply that this book is required reading, but Sword of King James is a fine diversion -- with the potential to become a fine movie. It is well worth reading, so get a mug of tea, allow yourself the time to relax and enjoy.

- Rambles
written by Ann Flynt
published 7 February 2004

Buy it from Amazon.com.