- Reviewed by: Warren Collen
- Print Length: 219 pages
- Posting: Action/Adventure, Historical, Series
- Publisher: Siren Publishing (Oct 1, 2012)
- Book Provided by: Author
- Author: Erin O’Quinn
- Posting Date: August 13, 2014
- Rating: 5 Star
The second in The Iron Warrior set is a continuation of the story of Gristle and Wynn. Wynn has been reunited with Gristle after being abducted by the two High Druids that violently abused him. With help from Dubtach, the high advisor to the king’s son Duane, he escapes and is healed and sent back to his home and his life with Gristle.
Warrior, Stand Tall starts when they have reunited, and deals with the tensions between the two as Gristle worries about what had happened to Wynn, and Wynn is too afraid of Gristle’s reaction to talk openly about his harrowing experience. Gristle also is dealing with the guilt of the parting, and his past relationship, which they have not really discussed.
As this is unfolding, word is sent to Gristle that his friends in Wales are worried of impending violence and takeover from the Saxons, who have taken a castle of strategic importance, and are asking for his leadership and help. Gristle and Wynn, of course, take a band of fellow warriors and travel to Wales. There they plan and execute the retaking of the castle, and therefore taking the threat away.
And as this happens, Gristle and Wynn begin to learn what each means to the other, and the importance and necessity of good communication.
As they turn toward home, they return to the Hill of Tara, where the Druids are still harboring hatred for Wynn, and Gristle is confronted with meeting the man and son that saved Wynn and helped him to heal and learn. There are many emotions running through both men, and when the Druids strike, it is not where you expect.
The story is full of action and adventure, with war, abductions, and violence. It is historical, in that it takes place in the far past, before the United Kingdom becomes one, going from Wales to Ireland, and has such historical persons as St. Patrick at the time of the settling of Ireland.
The relationship between Gristle and Wynn starts out tense and frustrating, but as usual, Erin takes her characters and works her psychological magic as they slowly learn how to communicate with each other, and the benefits of trust.
I really enjoyed this book. It took up where the first left off, did a bit of reviewing to keep me in the story line, and then expanded it into a wonderful read. It has enough excitement to really keep the reader interested, and not want to put the book down. It moves along quickly, with amazingly descriptive passages that helped to paint the scenery of the mountains and the castle. I found myself immersed in my imagination as I read; enjoying the trip the two main characters take to the hills to search for ponies, or the description of the boats that are used to the island, and the ones that they procure to return home after taking the castle back. You can feel the emotion of the characters because of her colorful use of language to describe what each is going through, and finally, brings the story together into a wonderful ending that makes you wish the story wasn’t over yet.
Warrior, Stand Tall [The Iron Warrior 2] – Amazon
Warrior, Stand Tall [The Iron Warrior 2] – Amazon UK
The Book Description:
Sensuous Gristle, badass former Roman soldier, has finally found love in the person of young Wynn, a pony trainer nearly half his age. Each man has a secret. For Wynn, it is the chilling sexual assault that he has suffered by two evil druids. For Gristle, it is the dread that any love he admits to will be wrested away by cold Fortuna, goddess of fate. While the two men are trying to solve their inner turmoil, Gristle finds that his old friends in Wales are being threatened by invasion from ruthless Saxons. Even after they manage to handle the Saxon threat, new trouble waits on the sacred Hill of Tara, where the chief druids to the high king wait to strike again at the heart of Wynn. Into this maelstrom of danger walks Dub, a striking warrior-scholar whom Gristle recognizes as a potent rival for the attentions of his handsome lover.
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