Lily Fair
by Kimberly Cates, historical (1999)
Sonnet, $6.50, ISBN 0-671-02822-7

This is another innocent-meets-hero story from this author, and I've lost count how many books in a row she has put forth featuring this sort of The hills are alive! With the sound of music sort of heroine. It works magic in the last book Briar Rose which is a keeper for me. The only feeling I get after finishing Lily Fair is gratitude to my teachers in my Catholic school who taught me my ABC's. Grateful they didn't turn me into a complete twit like the sisters in this book did to the heroine Caitlin of the Lilies.

Once, Conn the Ever Truthful receives a prophecy that the unborn daughter of his hated but most valuable aide is going to bring his downfall. He has her banished to a nunnery when she was born. Now Caitlin is all grown and Conn sends another twit, Niall of the Seven Betrayals, to kill her.

Frankly I have my doubts, big doubts, about what the druid was inhaling when he made the prophecy. The heroine to cause a mighty - if nasty - cheftain's fall? Look at Caitlin! The woman sheds tears at the drop of the hat at everything. She shuts her eyes and runs into the oceans and is a poster girl for Flower Power On Illegal Substances. Any more Nature is splendorous and the sun is beautiful and look! The mountains! The skies! twitter and I'd personally gag her. What did the good sisters feed this woman in the nunnery? Brain development inhibitors? Surely no one is this disgustingly innocent!

Oh, then there's her lummox of a boyfriend Niall of the Seven IQ. This is a man who turns his back on his father and family after his father confessed a betrayal. Always knew blood is thicker than water, eh, Niall? Niall believes every word of Conn, even when he sees that Conn has broken his word and razed his estates to the ground so that Niall's family would be too weak from starvation to fight back. Niall probably thinks his Mom and Sis are anorexic, I don't know. This man grasps at straws to believe that Conn is good, Conn is Perfect, Conn is Messiah all the way to the last few chapters. Niall of the Seven Betrayals my ass, Seven IQ is more like it.

At the end of the day, I just want to throttle the heroine for her irritating Pollyanna outlook that never changes even at the last page. Which makes her no better than a five year old and Niall a pedophile for finding her sexually attractive. In Briar Rose, the heroine may be na´ve, but she learns and mellows at the end. Seeing Caitlin so willing to offer herself to Niall, so willing to jump into oceans, so willing to wander around castle grounds alone when she knows her life is in danger... yucks.

Somebody get these ninnies far, far away from me.

Rating: 30

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