marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Against Three Lands

Against Three Lands by George Phillies

Adventure and politics in another world. Particularly in the Thousand Islands, which is, culturally a mix of Shogunate Japan and the Scottish Highlands.  With some fun.  (As in there is a major character named Nancy Juliet.)

Clan MacDonald faces many troubles. Raids on their sheep. Vicious pirate attacks. Mysterious problems with trade in Mercia. The One MacDonald, in the city with six of his children, having troubles with suspicion from the All-Conquering Generalissimo and his own ambition.

His son Angus Valentine, the unlucky seventh child, is the one remaining in the lands trying to deal with the problems. Setting hereditary horsemen to keep watch for the raiders and for the pirates despite the suspicious aspect of raising warriors. And then he has to depart to Mercia to find out what's going on.

It involves posing as a merchant, watercolors, attacks suspiciously like assassination attempts, many foreigners invading Mercia, two men creatively interpreting who is in a pirate attack, the problem of a sheep-thief's family, flirtations, a man who realizes he's not competent for his position in war and so seeks out help, and more. First in a series and with many plot hooks, but it does have a complete story.

Tags: fiction reviews: fantasy (other)

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