Rebel

Written by Linda Windsor
Review by Nancy Henshaw

Like its predecessors, Healer and Thief, this, the third in the Brides of Alba series, is a Christian historical romance.

Set in what is now southern Scotland in the late 6th century, Rebel adopts the unlikely speculations of Norma Lorre Goodrich as its political background, complete with Grail Church and bloodlines (Modred is an archbishop as well as a king), and Arthur, Merlin and Gwenhyfar as titles (an earlier Arthur was the victor at Badon). More important to the story is the love between its protagonists: Kella, an unwed and pregnant scribe working for Gwenhyfar, and Alyn, a disaffected priest of the Grail Church struggling to find his true calling. The main purpose, however, is the Christian message of repentance and forgiveness, of tolerance and placing trust in God.

Since the history is implausible, the romance sentimental, and the Christian message intrusive and didactic despite its attractive emphasis on compassion, Rebel will appeal primarily to its target audience, devotees of the inspirational subgenre.