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Monday, October 9, 2017

Review of Amulet of Fate by Kelli Keith

Name:

Kelli Keith
Date:
October 8, 2017
Book Title:
Amulet of Fate
Book Author:
Angela Ashton
Date of Publication:
June 2006
Number of Pages:
284
Main Characters:
Alicia “Ali” Cameron (Alina Munroe) – a newly-graduated veterinarian who is searching for true love in a world full of scoundrels.  In her dreams, the perfect man begs her to “remember”.  Her mystery man calls to her assuring no mortal man can live up to her expectations.

Zachariah MacKintosh (Chief, the cat) – A warrior dubbed “The Black Panther” who rules the MacKintosh Clan of 14th century Scotland.  His strength of body and character make him irresistible for Ali, no matter what century they meet.

Other Important Characters:
Marcus MacShaw (Conner) – loyal guardian and confident of Zachariah, in the 14th century and modern day.

Lord Simon Mallory (The Englishmen) - Alina’s husband and greedy, narcissistic sociopath bent on getting revenge over the The Black Panther.

Sandy (Monique) – Ali’s best friend and possibly Conner’s love interest in 1333.

Gwenyth (Angus) - The shape-shifting sorceress who repents her sins by assuring Zach and Ali will be allowed to fulfill their love, even if it is 600 years in the future.
Setting:
Modern day, South Carolina; England and Scotland 1333.
Synopsis:
Ali sees the perfect man in her nightly dreams and struggles to find someone to fill his shoes in the land of reality.  A fateful trip to Scotland, and a chance encounter with a stranger, quickly reveal that Ali’s future lies six centuries in the past.  Will Ali be able to remember her past life in time to save her future?
Key Points/Conflict:
Ali has a reoccurring dream that features the perfect male specimen, begging her to “remember”.  Accompanying her grandmother, Jenny, back to Scotland—best friend Sandy in tow—she meets Marcus MacShaw.  Marcus instantly recognizes Ali from his past—600 years earlier, to be exact.  Marcus is an expert in past life regression and entices Ali to attempt a session, and she agrees in hopes it will explain the contents of her dreams.  She envisions her own demise, seemingly at the hands of her mystery man, and Ali is crushed.  Marcus cannot give up until she remembers all the details of her former life; time is running out. He agrees to guide Sandy and Ali on a tour of the famed MacKintosh Castle ruins, in hopes her memories will return.
There, she encounters a human-like cat, an emerald amulet, and the smell of heather, unlocking forgotten memories. Ali is thrown back to 1333, where she awakens as “Alina”, a Scottish heiress newly-wed (by proxy) to a vile Englishman.  While shopping for a wedding gift, Ali kidnapped by Zachariah MacKintosh’s brothers, by mistake.  A forbidden love blooms between she and her captor as the secrets of her father and proxy-husband are unfolding in the background.  Neither Mallory nor Munroe have any desire to see Alina live past her usefulness as a pawn in their sick games. Unknowingly, Zach releases Alina and sets forth a chain of events that will continue for the next 600 years.
Analysis/Evaluation:
Shifting between modern day and the 14th century, the story of Ali and Zach is told with well researched details.  At times the Scottish Brogue was difficult to decipher and some scenes felt longer than necessary, using well-crafted paragraphs of superfluous details to keep the reader from getting to the conclusion.  Although Ali says that Zach is the hero, as a reader, I feel the true hero is Conner/Marcus.  The character’s loyalty and bravery span the centuries to protect a love that isn’t his own.

Ali’s character is strong willed, believable, and loyal—even if she doesn’t want to be.  Her fears of becoming a wife and mother seem realistic for someone who has witnessed the death of many child-bearing women.  Her idea of a perfect man is someone who cares whether she lives or dies—this is what makes her character loveable—not giving up her virtue in the past, or the present, for anything less.
The surprising twist at the end felt both required and unnecessary.  Simon’s character sold his soul at the last moment so he could exact revenge in the future.  The author didn’t state whether he dwelled upon the earth for 600 years or reappeared only once Ali’s memories had been restored.  This feels like a bit of an oversight, deserving further explanation.   
The final reader question revolves around the narrator:  At one point it feels like Sandy is telling the tale, then suddenly it changes to another’s thoughts, and once more, to another person’s point of view entirely.  Maybe the reader is not meant to know!

Overall, the book was somewhat enjoyable.  Those who enjoy period pieces with a splash of the romance genre’s descriptive flare for intimate moments, it will certainly delight.

Amulet of Fate is available at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and the Champagne Bookstore.

2 comments:

  1. This looks like a fun read. Looking forward to the Halloween Bash!

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    Replies
    1. Can't wait to see you there! I'm one of the hosts, and I'll let you know there's going to be a ton of giveaways!

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