Queen of Swords

Written by Sara Donati

The fifth title in Donati’s bestselling ‘Wilderness’ series, Queen of Swords opens in the French Antilles in August 1814 and finds Kit Wyndham and Luke Scott plotting to free Scott’s wife, Jennet. Assisting them is Luke’s half-sister, Hannah Bonner. Although they successfully rescue Jennet, the Scotts’ infant son is still held captive by Honoré Poiterin, a corrupt Creole merchant from New Orleans.

The entourage sets off in pursuit of Poiterin and soon finds themselves pulled apart and forced to hide their true identities in order to rescue the baby. They arrive in New Orleans as the city is preparing for Andrew Jackson’s famous attack during the War of 1812. Each struggles with prejudice and fear as they work together to save their family.

This book is compellingly written ,which definitely makes it easy to keep turning the pages. The way Donati examines social attitudes concerning Native Americans, slaves and foreigners adds an extra dimension to the book as evidenced in the character of Hannah Bonner. Bonner, in addition to being half Mohawk, is a well-trained doctor who struggles with prejudice among New Orleans’ Creole elite even as they turn to her for her talent.

The combination of well-developed plot and intriguing characters make this a book worth reading. Given that it’s the fifth in a series proves that Donati is a skilled writer; however, as is sometimes the case when jumping into a series midway, it feels like the reader can’t quite catch up. Some titles in a series have a stand-alone feel to them, but this isn’t one of them. What does that mean in terms of this book? It means readers should start at the beginning of the series so that Queen of Swords can be fully enjoyed the way it deserves to be.