Monday, July 05, 2010
Linda Windsor's Healer ~ Reviewed
By Linda Windsor
David C. Cook 2010
Reviewed by: Michelle Griep
Her mother’s dying prophecy to the chieftain Tarlach O’Byrne sentenced Brenna of Gowrys to twenty years of hiding. Twenty years of being hunted—by the O’Byrnes, who fear the prophecy, and by her kinsmen, who expect her to lead them against their oppressors. But Brenna is a trained and gifted healer, not a warrior queen, so she lives alone in the wilderness with only her pet wolf for company. When she rescues a man badly wounded from an ambush, she believes he may be the answer to her deep loneliness. Healing him comes as easy as loving him. But can their love overcome years of bitterness and greed…and bring peace and renewed faith to the shattered kingdom?
I’ve read lots of Linda Windsor’s books—she’s got twenty-nine published—but this one is my favorite by a long shot. Healer is historical fiction at its finest, incorporating fast-paced action, romance, and spiritual warfare.
When thinking of the Dark Ages, certain words come to mind…mystical, superstitious, even downright demonic. Windsor pulls these elements into the story while managing to bring all the glory to God.
I really liked the herbal remedies that were used and explained throughout the tale. Much of the mystery during this time period (think King Arthur and Merlin) can be demystified when applying the science of nature—which is exactly what Windsor does.
But aside from the apparent research, medical and historical, Windsor writes a love story that sizzles. Hero Ronan O’Byrne is one serious hunk of man with a noble heart and muscles to match. Heroine Brenna of Gowrys is a woman who knows her own mind and is not afraid to act on her convictions, yet she displays a sincere humility and desire to please God. After only a chapter or two, I was seriously invested in these characters.
Healer is one of the top three books I’ve read so far this year, and I read a lot. This is definitely one I’ll keep on my shelf and re-visit in the years to come.