Sunday, May 31, 2009

Review - A Kingdom of Dreams

Title: A kingdom of Dreams
Author: Judith McNaught
Publishing Date: 1989
Genre: Medieval
Rating: A-
Sensuality: Warm

Headstrong, seventeen year old Jenny Merrick has been living in a convent for the last two years. After causing her father one to many headaches, he shipped her off in the hopes that she would learn some discipline. Meanwhile the Scots and English have been waging war against one another. Many fierce battles have been fought and won by Royce Westmoreland in the name of the English King, Henry. He has been ordered to take the Scottish Earl of Merrick's keep. Stephan, Royce's brother happens to be in the right place at the right time and utilizes the opportunity to kidnap Jenny and her sister Brenna.

Judith McNaught is well known for her sweeping sagas rich with angst and passion. A Kingdom of Dreams is no exception. It happens to be one of the most memorable medieval stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Jenny and Royce are extremely vivid characters with larger than life personalities. Jenny is prideful and headstrong, but loyal and clever. Royce is presumptuous and stubborn, but intelligent and compassionate too. These two personalities ignite passionately against one another - first in anger, then eventually with love. Oh, but the journey is fraught with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

This is actually my second time reading A Kingdom of Dreams. I wondered if I would still enjoy it now, as much as I did a few years ago when I first started reading romance. I am very happy to say that it still holds the same magic it once did for me. As I was reading it again, there were some things that bothered me about the characters. I hated how Royce so quickly jumps to a conclusion about Jenny, when there wasn't any evidence. I could understand later on, once some things came to light, but not right away. Jenny annoyed me with how long she clung to her loyalty to her family even though they didn't deserve it. I will say that even though these things might bother a reader, McNaught does a beautiful job of getting the reader to empathize with her characters' plight. The dramatic ups and downs of the book are what make it so memorable and special. It is a true testimony to her talent that she can write flawed characters and still keep them lovable.


Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

I have so much love for this book. When Jenny talks about her kingdom of dreams, I tear up every time I read it.

Stacy~ said...

Yay, I'm so glad you still loved this one. I grew up on JM and love all her old historicals. I know, that's so non-PC, but I don't care. I like what I like. This one is a classic. And I love doing re-reads. I re-read this one last year and it still retained it's magic for me too.

Anonymous said...

I've never read Judith McNaught book, but a fellow blogger recommended her thinking I would enjoy her stories. I now have five or six of them waiting to be read, this one included.

Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings said...

I haven't read this one but will definitely read it after your review. I love medieval romance.

Zeek said...

I so gotta re-read this one! (heh- I did Once and Always for my re-read challenge!)

nath said...

I love Judith McNaught's "new" covers, they are so nice LOL :)

I did read A Kingdom of Dreams and while I like it, it's not one that I re-read often. LOL, I hope that Ames and Holly don't see your post, cos if not, you're in for a rant(they both hated it ^_^;).

Glad you still love it :) McNaught's books hold really well through time (except maybe for Double Standards), especially the historicals.

Tracy said...

Wow this sounds like a book that's right up my ally. I haven't read McNaught in forever and I'm pretty sure never this title. Thanks for the great review!

Anonymous said...

Jill - I'm so happy you liked this one. It's on my keeper/reread shelf. :)

No one writes like JM.
Hugs -

Romance Reader said...

I LOVE Judith McNaught's books and A Kingdom of Dreams is one of my all-time favorites :)

Jill D. said...

Katie, I love the part when Stephen tells Jenny to get her butt out to the field because Royce is dying for her. *Le sigh*

Stacy, I still say non PC can be sooooo entertaining. Sometimes, I need the drama. Makes my life seem so uneventful :)

Alaine, Tracy and Barbara, OMG!!! You have to read this one, it's a gem, it truly is. JM is an awesome author. I mean she is in a category all by herself. I wasn't even able to do her justice in this review.

Zeek, I will be by to check it out. I read Once and Always a while back and I need a refresher.

Nath, Okay, I'll be on the lookout for Ames and Holly *ducking with my arms up*

Genella and Romance Reader, AMEN to that!

gaby317 said...

I read this years ago and stayed up all night reading! I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it too. Are there other books that you liked as much lately?

Jill D. said...

Gaby, I really, REALLY enjoyed the Warlord Trilogy by Elizabeth Vaughn. I have a link to that series in my sidebar under Series Sunday posts. It isn't medieval, more fantasy, but it is a great series. I highly recommend them.

Anonymous said...

I love this book too. JM is awesome and so I say my favorite Romance author. Paradise is my favorite but then I fell inlove with this book too. I love the part when Royce is letting himself be killed by Jenny's kinsmen! I did cry out when Stefan said, "He is out there on the field, dying for you." This is heartwhelming indeed!