High Crag Linn
This complex story is set in 15th-century England and shows human nature at its best and worst. Anna’s father is away fighting in the war, leaving her and her mother to defend their castle against a tyrant and his group of outlaws. Anna is beautiful in looks and character and has had a life filled with love. Hawk Jankin is a man driven by the need for revenge to reclaim his family’s castle. He is brutal and unforgiving, in stark contrast to Anna, whom he wants as his bride. She agrees to this, thinking it would save her people and home from his cruelty. She is wrong.
The period is realistically portrayed as this complex tale is told. The book offers the reader far more than a straight conflict between good and evil. The characters are taken beyond hatred and pain to a place of peace. It is a book which is very touching, particularly when Jankin stares the results of his previously destructive lifestyle in the face and is deeply moved by what he sees.
The author has illustrated how collectively people can behave as a mob when fuelled with sufficient hatred driven by ignorance, fear and jealousy. Later, they are able to justify their own part in their previous inhumane behaviour.
I found the novel offered not only an engaging story but offered illustrations of the many facets of forgiveness—especially to those who find the hardest person to forgive is oneself.