Review--Dìlseachd: A Stolen Crown
Title: Dìlseachd: A Stolen Crown
Series: Princess of the Highlands (Book 1)
Author: Cheyenne van Langevelde
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 stars
I finally got to read this book!!
I’ve wanted to read it since I first encountered a blog post about it pre-release, a good year and a half ago. I finally managed to get my hands on it, and now I’m both sad it took so long to get to it and glad that the sequel is coming out relatively soon. It’s a beautiful book in a unique setting that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Characters: Fiona is a great heroine. I appreciated how she’s a warrior princess who still comes across as completely feminine. Sure, she’ll don a kilt, but she’d rather be in a dress. And she can wield a sword, but she’s also cool with a strong man stringing her bow for her when it’s physically impossible for her to do so. This was a refreshing take on the “strong warrior woman” stereotype that made Fiona actually likable.
Angus, though… Oh, my precious boy. I just wanted to give him a hug. He’s carrying around so much grief and pain. Bless him. I loved his and Fiona’s relationship! So sweet.
And Malcolm. Malcolm’s a doll. We love him very much.
Content: This is a war story, and the battles make it onto the page. There’s blood and death and general violence, and while nothing’s gratuitously described, we’re well aware of the gruesomeness of the battlefield. Sensitive readers might be disturbed.
A character is nearly assaulted several times.
A sweet romance is budding (though nothing goes beyond hand-holding and hugging). A man kisses his wife. A character is said to be illegitimate (though most people refute that rumor).
Writing: The writing is a bit old-fashioned, with an omniscient narrator that creates distance between the reader and the characters. It works quite well with the story. It was something difficult to follow events, though, and I would sometimes have to go back and re-read a few paragraphs before grasping what was happening.
There are so many good quotes in here, though! The poetry of the prose is beautiful, and the descriptions are perfect.
Summary: This is an amazing story, perfect for fans aged 14+ of medieval settings and poignant tales. I loved the world, the characters, and most of all the charge to hold onto hope despite despair. I can’t wait for the sequel!