- The Harp and the Sea by Anne Barwell and Lou Sylvre Release Day Review
The Harp and the Sea by Anne Barwell and Lou Sylvre Release Day Review
Highland warrior Ian MacDonald came to Skye for loyalty and rebellion. He’s lost once at love, and stands as an outsider in his own clan. When Ian’s uncle and laird sends him to lonely Skye to hide and protect treasure meant for Bonnie Prince Charlie’s coffers, he resigns himself to a solitary life—his only companion the eternal sea. Lonely doldrums transform into romance and mystery when the tide brings beautiful Robbie Elliot and his broken harp ashore.
A curse dogs them, enemies hunt them, and war looms over their lives. Robbie and Ian will fight with love, will, and the sword. But without the help of magic and ancient gods, will it be enough to win them a future together?
The fact the story included fantasy elements – magic and a curse – only made it better. King James was obsessed with the occult, so it made complete sense that he would have a witch on hand to protect him. It made sense that witch would sense another with magical ability and try to protect him. It made sense that, (though I didn't buy the reason for it), she would curse someone who had wronged her.
Historical issues covered:
- The Scottish Border Marches
- Bonnie Prince Charlie
- Jacobite Rebellion
There are quite a few inconsistencies within the story. As this is an ARC, I'm not counting these towards my rating, because I honestly feel that they're little niggly things that will be picked up in final edits. For instances:
- Ian draws his dirk, yet a few pages before (without having moved location) he reaches for it and realises he left it behind.
- It states “for more than two centuries” despite only 139/140 years passing between Robbie being cursed and appearing in Ian's timeline.
- In centuries – again, implies more than one.
- An entire sentence is repeated in Chapter 11
- The claim the jewels hidden in Ian's sporran “weigh a hell of a bloody lot” when carried in Robbie's breeks (trousers). However, anything that can fit in a sporran – which the authors admit later is only the size of two fists – can't possible weigh enough for Ian to struggle carrying Robbie. It's not physically possible.
- It's claimed late in the story that Robbie was cursed on the Firth of Forth, but it was actually the river Eden. The river Eden is actually part of the Solway Forth, not the Firth of Forth, so this is a geographical issue. (The Firth of Forth is on the East, and the river Eden on the West)
- because the size of harp is never specified – the size of a forearm, the size of a man, etc – it's really hard to picture it being lugged about by Robbie like a small backpack. It's either on his back, or tucked under his arm.
Issue 2: the curse
Keithen shook his head and blew out an exasperated breath, then concluded, “Live if you can, Robbie. Live for all of us.”
“Whatever fear ye found in your dreams, it’ll nae have ye whilst I hold ye.”
“I do love ye, Robbie. Know that, and take it with ye into your dreams.”