“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― G.K. Chesterton

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Monday, March 26, 2012

The Forgiven Duke Review--A Riveting Read!

Title:  The Forgiven Duke
SubTitle:  A Forgotten Castles Novel
Publisher:  B&H Publishing Group
Pub Date:  July 01, 2012
ISBN:  9781433673238
Author:      Jamie Carie
Category:   FICTION - ADULT: Other: Christian

               Jamie Carie has done it again!  She has produced quite a masterpiece in The Forgiven Duke, the second installment in her “Forgotten Castles” series.  I was so impressed by the first book in the series, The Guardian Duke, that I was a little worried the sequel might disappoint.  Although the two books are different in some ways, they are both just as good and equally deserving of the five stars I have given them.

            In the first book, The Guardian Duke, Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton, has been trying to catch his ward, Alexandria Featherstone, in a chase across England and Ireland, but to no avail.  Alexandria (Alex) has been trying to locate her parents who are high-profile treasure hunters.  At the end, Alex is sailing off on a ship to Iceland as the Duke is on shore watching her leave.  They lock eyes for an intense moment over the distance that separates them—and speak to each other in the way only soul mates can.  Gabriel has just decided that if he reaches Alex in time, he will abandon the Regent’s wishes to bring Alex back to England and help her in her quest to find her parents.  He will choose faith over duty (his family motto is “Faith for Duty”).  He knows he loves her and will do whatever it takes.

            The Forgiven Duke begins where The Guardian Duke leaves off.  The year is 1818.  Alex is now aboard the ship with her fiancé, John Lemon.  Alex realizes she may have made a mistake in trying to escape her guardian, and prays that he will come.  She needs him.  Alex feels her life has gotten off track.  John seems too eager to marry her.  She wonders what his real motivations are.  In the midst of all this, Alex must be on constant alert for the dangerous men who have been following her since the beginning of her search for her parents.  She must also consider if she can trust those who are supposedly her allies.

            The Duke follows Alex to Iceland, the last place where “the manuscript” was heard to be.  This is what Alex’s parents are searching for.  Gabriel travels to the Black Castles of Iceland, huge black pillars from volcanic lava that look like castles.  This path is fraught with dangers.  Gabriel is deterred again and again.  Will he ever make it to Alex in time?  Why is the manuscript so valuable?  

            Alex and Gabriel do finally meet, and the meeting is so tender and worth the wait!  Then a tragedy occurs.  Will Alex and the Duke let the tragedy separate them just when they were finally brought together?

            I adored this book. It was different from its predecessor in many ways, as I stated before, because it seemed to have a more intense feel to it.  The Guardian Duke was a more light-hearted romp, with fun, lovable characters.  The Forgiven Duke deals with much weightier subjects.  The scenery here, instead of being the verdant Ireland, is the dark, dangerous paths of Iceland. 

            As I state in my previous review of The Guardian Duke, both are written to have an air of poetry about them.  Jamie Carie writes in a way that is lyrical and mesmerizing.  The Forgiven Duke uses amazing and wonderfully descriptive language.  The land of Iceland feels almost otherworldly.  She describes a beautiful land with fire, ice, snow, crevasses, boiling mud pits, volcanoes, and mists. 

            It was inspiring to watch the journey of faith that Gabriel and Alex’s characters take.  Gabriel prays a lot more in this book.  He used to love listening to music, but now he uses music to worship God.  God fills the hole in him that music used to fill.  While reading I began examining myself for different areas where I might be going to things other than God to satisfy my needs.  It is a good reality check for all of us.  The Duke must come to the end of himself and ask for God’s will in everything.  That is a hard place to be, but a good one, because that is really when God can start to use us. 

Alex realizes she is trying to control things by attempting to find her parents her own way and not submitting to the Duke.  She now comprehends how much havoc and suffering this has caused to others.  I can relate to Alex as I constantly have to give up my own issues of control to God.

            I love the storyline of this series because it is fresh, exiting and will whisk you off to new places!

I give this book five stars out of five.  It is a clean read.  It is Christian fiction.

I want to thank NetGalley, Jamie Carie and the B&H Publishing Group for the complimentary copy of this book for review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I express in this review are my own.  This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.                  


  1. Great review Megan. Thanks for posting.

  2. This sounds like an awesome book, Megan! I may have to add it to my TBR :-)

  3. Thanks, it really is awesome! Make sure you read "The Guardian Duke" first. By the way, I am now following your blog--I love it!