High Crag Linn
By Margaret McAllister
A brutally harsh story, set in fifteenth century England, challenging to read – but so worthwhile.
Hawk Jankin is determined to regain ownership of his family’s castle, lost to them many years ago. With a group of rough outlaws, he lays siege to the castle, and demands to wed Anna, which will regain him his right to the castle. Anna agrees, in the hope it will bring peace to her people’s lives. But an act of revenge by Hawk results in a terrible loss, and the story goes on to examine issues of guilt, remorse, regret and forgiveness.
The historical details are deftly interwoven into the story, giving a natural flow to the narrative. The cruelty and brutality of the times is confronted boldly and can be quite difficult to read, and the tension of the story makes it a real page-turner.