Wicked Highlander (Dark Sword Series #3)

Wicked Highlander: A Dark Sword Novel - Donna Grant 3.5 starsThis is the third book in the series, and it's Quinn's book - the youngest of the MacLeod brothers. At the end of book 1, Quinn was taken prisoner by the evil drough Druid Deirdre, who long ago discovered the secret scrolls containing the spells that would unbind the gods that traveled within the bloodlines of certain clans. When the Celts were unable to fight off the Romans, they banded with the Druids; the drough (black magic) Druids used a spell to bring the old gods from Hell to inhabit the bodies of the fiercest warriors from several clans. Using their gods, the Celtic Warriors fought off the Romans and eventually sent them packing. But the gods weren't ready to give up their hosts and return to Hell; so the mie (good, healing magic) Druids and the drough Druids combined their magic to create a spell that would bind or freeze the gods; but the gods were still within the Warrior's bloodline, and they always traveled to the next fiercest Warrior, waiting.Deirdre discovered the spell to unbind the gods, but first she had to know which bloodlines carried the gods. The only name on the scroll that she found was MacLeod, so Deirdre relentlessly pursued the MacLeod brothers three: Fallon, Lucan, and Quinn. Deirdre massacred, butchered, and burned their castle home, all their family (including Quinn's wife and son), and the surrounding MacLeod villages. But she managed to capture the brothers long enough to unbind their god - for all three share the same the god, the Apadatoo the god of revenge. However, the brothers escaped Deirdre's mountain and hid for 300 years. They've been actively fighting Deirdre, the Warriors who've turned to join her army and quest to take over the world, and the creatures that she's created to do her bidding for the past several months.Deirdre captured Quinn because of some old prophecy she ran across that indicated to her that if she and Quinn had a child, that child would be the embodiment of evil and allow Deirdre, Quinn, and the child to rule the world forever. However, we never see the prophecy for ourselves, and it's only spoken of; no one but Deirdre has apparently seen the real thing. But of the three MacLeod brothers, Quinn was the one who unleashed the god within him frequently, using it to vent his anger over all the loss. And the more a Warrior unleashes the god, the more power the god has over the Warrior.Quinn had never been able to control the god very well, but since being captured, that's all he's done, unleashing the god only when necessary to stay alive. He survived torture and being thrown into Deirdre's Pit, fighting off the Warriors there. The Pit is the deepest, darkest Hell of her mountain, and where many Warriors break and volunteer to go to Deirdre's evil side. But Quinn has managed to win over several Warriors in the Pit - those who were still holding out against Deirdre. Quinn knows that if he resists Deirdre long enough, his brothers will rescue him; that's what keeps him going... until Marcail is thrown into the Pit.Marcail is a mie Druid, whose Druid grandmother was very powerful. Her grandmother buried the spell to bind the gods deep in Marcail's brain. Marcail has a healing magic, including one that allows her to feel the emotions and pain of others and take it into herself, healing the sufferer. But she cannot for the life of her remember the other magic, including that binding spell. However, her grandmother surrounded Marcail with many spells and curses, so that anyone who harms her instantly suffers. Deirdre knows that she can't kill Marcail herself, so she throws her in the Pit, expecting one or more Warriors to do it for her and suffer the consequences.But Quinn immediately goes to Marcail's rescue, and he and his band of Warriors protect her. Quinn made it look as though he'd killed Marcail, so Deirdre thinks she's out of the way. But of course, Quinn and Marcail fall in lust immediately, and then in love. They can't keep their hands from one another anymore than his brothers did in the previous two books, when they found their "soulmates". Which poses a hefty problem... what happens when Deirdre discovers Marcail isn't dead? And how long can Quinn resist Deirdre?And what the heck is keeping the other two MacLeod brothers and their band of merry Warriors from rescuing Quinn? Fallon and Lucan are getting some help from Broc, a Warrior with a winged god who is acting as a double agent. But it's still a maddeningly slow pace fighting their way to Deidre's mountain. But are they in time? Quinn has agreed to go to Deirdre and bed with her, on the condition that Marcail is set free - which, of course doesn't happen.Will the brothers MacLeod be in time? Can they stop the evil Deirdre - do they have enough strength and magic?--------------------While I enjoyed Quinn's story, the actual battle with Deirdre was anti-climactic. So the last fourth of the book wasn't as satisfying as I'd hoped it would be. It just felt as if all this build-up led to a final battle that fizzled. Even Quinn's battle with William, the Warrior who was jealous of Deirdre's lust for Quinn and wanted to be her paramour wasn't satisfying. This final, penultimate battle didn't seem any different from the other battles these Warriors have fought to this point. And that was just downright disappointing.Then there's one more book... why? All 3 MacLeod brothers have had their day, and Deirdre is dead. What other business is left? For the sake of finishing the story and the remaining loose ends, I'll read it. But I can't say that I'm as thrilled with the series as I was when I stumbled into it.