SON OF THE SWORD

J. Ardian Lee, Author . Ace $14 (336p) ISBN 978-0-441-00838-4

In this earnest mix of history and romance, in the tradition of Twain's Connecticut Yankee, a contemporary American travels back in time, here to 1713 Scotland, where Jacobite rebels are in deep trouble. Alas, his story fails to generate much excitement until the poignant ending. England and Scotland have fought off and on over the centuries, with the English usually victorious. After yet another Scottish defeat, the faerie Sinann Eire holds up a great sword and calls upon it to "bring me a hero, a Cuchulain." The sword obliges. From Tennessee, Dylan Matheson, an expert in Scottish history, swordplay and kung fu, suddenly finds himself in a rude Scotland of three centuries earlier. In due course he proves himself a worthy champion to the plain folk, faces death and falls in love with the beautiful Caitrionagh, daughter of a haughty laird. He also tolerates the mischievous attentions of the faerie who plucked him out of the present. Despite an appealing scenario, the action too often bogs down in pedantic history lessons, delivered with gobs of Gaelic. Having done heroic research, Lee seems unwilling to let such details reveal themselves naturally. Nevertheless, those interested in things Scottish will appreciate the background, while most readers will empathize with the likable Dylan, even if by the end they'll be wondering why Sinann didn't select someone with a knowledge of weapons technology instead. (July 10)

Reviewed on: 06/25/2001
Release date: 07/01/2001
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FORMATS
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-441-01050-9
Ebook - 978-0-7865-3273-5
Prebound-Other - 978-1-4177-1318-9
Prebound-Other - 978-1-4177-1321-9
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-101-20811-3
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