Review of THE IMMORTAL HIGHLANDER by Karen Marie Moning (see her website)
Delacourt Press, August 2004
Adam Black has been a prince of the fairies, the Tuatha De Danaan, for thousands of years but now he's gone too far. Rather than follow the commands of his Queen, he opposed her publicly--and for that she punishes him by transforming him into a mere human--and worse, a human that no one else can see. No one, that is, except one of the rare, almost mythical seelie seers.
Law Student Gabrielle O'Callaghan has lived her entire life with one fundamental commandment--no matter what the fairies do, never let them know you see them. Because only a seer can view the fair people--and the fairy hunters will chase down and murder any seers they find. Seeing fairies has eliminated most of her relationships, cost her a chance at a decent job, and leaves her unable to make permanent attachments. But when she walks into one particular fairy, a fairy prince by appearances, she blows it. And Adam Black, the fairy ruled most dangerous in that book passed down by her family for hundreds of years, is onto her secret.
When Gabrielle and Adam discover that someone in fairie is has unleashed the hunters from the unseelie court, Adam knows he must get in touch with his Queen before she is attacked--even though that might mean his own elimination. But that means spending time with Gabrielle--and even a fairy can only stand so much. Gabrielle's fear is soon mixed with lust--but no relationship between a mortal and a soulless fairy is possible--is it?
Author Karen Marie Moning (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Moning) knows that her readers want heroes that are larger than life and a fairy prince--who also happens to be a Highlander smith and warrior certainly fits the bill. Especially since he is able to give his lady expensive sportscars, diamonds, and lovemaking well beyond the proportions of his oversized body. Add a bit of adventure and danger, some getting reacquainted with the characters from earlier Highlander stories, and you have a pretty good story.
Still, there are some issues. Although Gabrielle is studying to be a lawyer, she seemed to have no particular objection to taking the BMW, dress, or diamonds that Adam simply stole (the fact that he used magic doesn't pay the bills). Also, I found the solution to the fundamental differences between a soulless fairy and a mortal woman to be, uh, cheating (and just maybe a sacrifice for the point of being a sacrifice). Moning had a chance to really push the envelope here and get creative, but she took the easy way out.
There's a lot to like about a hunky dominating alpha fairy who can deliver a girl's every desire. Moning fans are certain to enjoy THE IMMORTAL HIGHLANDER. If it isn't quite what it could be, that certainly doesn't mean it isn't worth the read.
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