Title: Miranda, Queen of Argyll: Unlikely Saints
Author: Julia Phillips
Buy it Link: Amazon.com
Author Julia Phillips followed up her successful book Miranda, Queen of Argyll: Past Sins (Read Review
) with Unlikely Saints.
But this book is not an actual sequel more than it’s the second half of the first book. Julia told me that when she sat down to write the Miranda story, she ended with a fairly large book and decided to break it into two parts.
Unlikely Saints picks up the story as Miranda and company prepare for the assault on Dalriada Castle. I don’t want to go too much into details as to not ruin the story.
I struggled with this review greatly, I have had this book for several months now and I think what made this so hard for me was that since it really was one book, it was like trying to review two parts of the same book.
Unlikely Saints continues to delve deeply into the Miranda character while the forces of Good and Evil gather for an ultimate battle. Miranda is a very complicated character with many motivations. Being an Immortal, she has several lifetimes of skeletons in her closet and the author carefully takes the reader on a tour of Miranda’s long lifetime and attempts to take the idea of being immortal and take it past the simple idea’s that Highlander explored like simply watching loved ones grow old and die.
Miranda has even more problems as she is a very powerful Sorceress and she realizes early in her life that her power is a great threat to everyone and everything if not carefully controlled. She has almost reached the point of being unable to take any action for any reason as she has been haunted by many mistakes in her life and she has seen the consequences of many actions that can come back to haunt you only more so than any mortal can comprehend.
So she struggles greatly with how to deal with the great evil that is coming back, the evil cost her so much to vanquish hundreds of years earlier. Does she become what she hated so much about herself to fight this evil once again?
It cost her everything once, what will the cost be this time?
These are the many questions the author explores as she moves the story towards the final confrontation. I remain vague about the protagonist in this story as it’s very central to the story and the character of Miranda.
It’s obvious that Julia Phillips took great care and detail with Miranda, the detail is exquisite and deep. But I did find myself really wanting to get to the final battle after several hundred pages of build up. I got a little impatient with some of the flashbacks and other events and that would really be my only complaint. The reader is a little inundated with detail, but by the final battle you really get a sense of how much is riding on the outcome so it does pay off in the end.
Together, the two books make an enjoyable, if not long, fantasy story that I think any Teen or Adult Fantasy fan could get into.
I would rate Unlikely Saints an above average 3.5 Secret Castle Entrances out of 5. The reason I took some points off is that the book is a little long for my tastes, but that may not be an issue for other people.
With two books or at least one long book under her belt, Julie Phillips is definitely a promising upcoming Author. It will be interesting to see what she comes up with next.