28 April 2013

Review: THE HIGHLAND WITCH (aka CORRAG), Susan Fletcher - audio book

  • published 2010
  • audio version published 2011 by Blackstone Audio
  • narrator Rosalyn Landor
  • Length approx 13 hours on 11 CDs
Synopsis (Audible.com)

Glencoe, 1692. Accused of witchcraft and condemned for her part in the recent massacre of the MacDonald clan, Corrag awaits her execution. Seeking information that will undermine the Protestant King William, Irish propagandist Charles Leslie question her on the events of that fateful night. As she tells her story, Leslie questions his own beliefs and purpose - and a friendship develops between them that alters both their lives.

Fantastic Fiction
In 1692, brilliant, captivating Corrag-accused witch, orphaned herbalist, and unforgettable heroine-is imprisoned in the Scottish highlands, suspected of witchcraft and murder. As she awaits her death she tells her story to Charles Leslie, an Irish propagandist who seeks information she may have condemning the Protestant King William. Hers is a story of passion, courage, love, and the magic of the natural world. By telling it, she transforms both their lives. 

My Take

I should probably point out that this is not really crime fiction, but part of my scheme to widen my horizons a little. Although it does focus on a 300 year old mystery - who was responsible for the Glencoe Massacre? It is centred on a period of British history with which I am pretty familiar - the Glorious Revolution of William and Mary and the abdication of KIng James II and VII and the "earming pan baby", the trigger for subsequent Jacobite uprisings, eventually leading to the times of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

In prison awaiting her death by burning, Corrag painstakingly takes Irish propagandist Charles Leslie through the background to the Glencoe Massacre in 1692. Leslie is hoping she will provide him with evidence that the massacre was in fact engineered by the "Orange King" and that this will somehow give more fuel to a successful Jacobite Rising.

As with all good historically set novels, this challenges what the readers thought they knew about Glencoe and it is no longer possible to see it as an inter-clan warfare. The novel brings the main characters to life.

This is wonderfully narrated by Rosalyn Landor, who magically transforms her voice so that you eventually recognise the main characters without a problem. 

My rating: 4.8

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