Friday 10 May 2024

Book Review - Steinar (The Wolves of Clan Sutherland Book 3) by Mary Morgan

(The Wolves of Clan Sutherland Book 3) 
By Mary Morgan

Publication Date: 10th January 2024
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Page Length: 265 Pages
Genre: Viking Historical Romance

Descended from the mighty Somerled, Lord of the Isles, Steinar MacDougall’s supremacy over the seas is fierce. On a quest for King William, he is captured by the enemy and presented with a favorable opportunity. Yet Steinar soon realizes his greatest threat comes from the woman who hides behind the mask of a warrior, and the quest for control might send them hurdling into the abyss of the sea.

As leader of the Serpents, Inga the Ruthless travels beyond the isles bartering for goods with her brothers. After rescuing the feared Pirate Wolf during a storm, she surrenders her trust to the man and his inner wolf in order to claim the lost treasure of Odin. Though the journey is fraught with dangers, Inga fears her heart might be the one in peril, leading her to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Will the sea be their salvation or doom them to a watery grave?

Steinar drew back. “I think neither of us is the victor. I taste the woman and the warrior.”

She threw caution out to the sea and wrapped her arms around the man’s neck. “Are you certain you have sampled enough, Pirate?”

His low growl surrounded Inga. “You are a siren, Inga. A danger to any man. You should leave and bolt the door on your chamber.”

The wolf is a fearsome creature, strong and mighty, so it is only right for the wolf to be the animal chosen by Odin to be his protector. The bloodlines of the men chosen would carry the strength and duty within them. And while wolves do not belong on the sea, Steinar MacDougall belonged to both the sea and to the wolf. Known as the Pirate Wolf, he was fierce in his beliefs, but feared by many.

The Olafssons were a formidable enemy to make, a group of brothers known as the Serpents, who sailed to trade and who were not opposed to bloodying their weapons to get what they wanted. But, they sailed with a secret, for their leader, Leif the Bloody Spear did not hold the power he would lead others to believe. Their leader was indeed a warrior, and a talented, relentless one at that, but Inga the Ruthless was most certainly not one of the Olafsson brothers. She was, though, their sister. And they had a quest, a mission to fulfil. One that they could not complete without the help of the Pirate Wolf.

Steinar (The Wolves of Clan Sutherland, Book 3) by Mary Morgan is a meticulously written tale that immerses the reader in a world where the characters truly come alive. Once you dive into this story, the pages become infused with enchantment. Immersing yourself in the story is like unravelling a hidden treasure, long forgotten for centuries.

Steinar is an experienced pirate, accustomed to a life on the sea, leading his crew fearlessly from one place to another. The wolf within him provided the necessary guidance and strength to make Steinar's ship a formidable force that others were cautious to approach. The storm that led him to the Olafsson’s ship was an unstoppable force, as the sky and sea united to pull him overboard, indebting him to those who rescued him from the water. And even though Steinar has never faced a foe he has not been able to defeat, Inga the Ruthless is one he does not know how to approach. How did one even begin to think about how to best an enemy when that enemy had saved your life?  And never had he met a woman who was so breathtakingly beautiful. But, Inga was in the same boat. Before her stood a man who possessed the ancient power of Odin’s wolves, capable of killing her and her entire crew without hesitation. But she needed his help, and he seemed fairly willing! It was truly delightful to observe Steinar and Inga gradually letting their guards down towards each other. Despite their initial doubts, both of them couldn’t help but feel a strong emotional pull, even if logic advised caution. 

While I won’t go into detail about the specifics of their joint quest, it is essential to recognize its pivotal role in shaping the destiny of both Inga and Steinar. It is a perilous undertaking, and as they embark on their journey, they are acutely aware of the countless individuals who have attempted and failed to unearth the coveted treasure.  What treasure is it that Inga truly seeks, and why is it important enough to take the risk and save Steinar, just to ensure she is the one to finally uncover it? Amidst a web of secrets and falsehoods, the undeniable tension weaves its way into the blossoming connection between Inga and Steinar, crafting a captivating novel that evokes both intrigue and emotion, leaving readers in a perpetual state of uncertainty regarding trust and ensuring an unyielding desire to continue reading.

This is a novel of love, but also one of respect. First and foremost, was the high regard the Gods and Goddesses were held in. To be on the good side of a God or Goddess was one thing, but to find yourself on their bad side? Words and actions were curbed out of respect, but also a little out of fear, for what wrath the deities in question may feel is necessary. Both Steinar and Inga also hold a lot of respect, from their men, but they also return the feelings. Neither rule with an iron fist, and value the opinions of those around them. Inga works incredibly hard to maintain the respect she has earned as leader. For Steinar, it is not difficult, for he is a man of strength and power, but Inga is a woman, surrounded by warriors, and making them listen to her is sometimes a struggle. Especially so when it comes to her eldest brother Leif. Leif is the warrior believed to be the leader of the Serpents, and it is a position he desperately desires, but his younger sister holds the title and he must bow to her command. It is clear as you read how uncomfortable he is with the leadership set-up, and at times his words and actions do make him come across as rather unlikeable, for he does not trust Inga’s intuition, and questions her every move. To his credit, though, he does listen to Inga, even if he puts up a fight first.

Once you dive into Steinar (The Wolves of Clan Sutherland, Book 3) by Mary Morgan, you’ll be enchanted by the magic that makes it impossible to set the book aside. The words have a magnetic pull, and like any great saga, you become engrossed, delving further into the narrative. From action to romance, secrets to adventure, every aspect of this book is captivating and will keep you hooked until the last page.

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Mary Morgan

Mary Morgan is an international best-selling author of award-winning historical fantasy and paranormal romance novels. During her research travels with her knight in shining armor to England, Ireland, and Scotland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.

Her passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. Inspired by her love for history and ancient Celtic and Norse mythology, Mary's tales are filled with powerful warriors, brave women, magic, and romance. If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of fantasy, then journey back in time within the pages of her books.

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See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx