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Whence Came a Prince    by Liz Curtis Higgs order for
Whence Came a Prince
by Liz Curtis Higgs
Order:  USA  Can
WaterBrook Press, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

In 1790, Scotland, the time has finally come for Jamie McKie to return to his family home in Glentrool. He has fulfilled all of his Uncle Lachlan's requirements and wants to head home soon. His wife, Rose, is expecting their first child and they cannot wait too long or the trip will be dangerous. A departure date is chosen and surprisingly, Lachlan agrees to part with half of the new twin lambs as payment for Jamie's hard work.

Leana McBride has been living with her Aunt Meg so that Jamie and Rose can have a chance for their marriage to work. Leana despairs that Jamie and Rose have left for Glentrool, taking her son Ian with them. Yet Leana has a surprise of her own - she too is expecting Jamie's child, conceived while she and Jamie thought they were legally wed. As her condition becomes more obvious, she must return home to prevent scandal from harming her aunt. Surprisingly, Jamie and Rose have not left yet, and Leana decides to keep her pregnancy a secret. This works for a while, but soon it is common knowledge. Will Jamie be able to take Ian and Rose and leave Leana and his unborn child behind? Will Lachlan scheme again to keep everyone at his mercy?

This is the third installment in the passionate series featuring Jamie, Rose, and Leana. As Fair is the Rose ended, readers were left hanging as to the outcome - how would it be possible for good to come out of such tremendous sadness? Liz Curtis Higgs achieves that in this book, and so much more. Leana remains the quiet, devoted sister. Her commitment to God is deepened, and she relies on His provision and comfort in her distress. Although she believes she will never see her beloved son Ian again, she trusts that God will see her through.

Rose's transformation is a bit of a stretch for me. Her pregnancy may well be the reason for her newfound love and charity toward Leana, but there was never much of a faith journey for Rose to make it believable. This episode is an emotionally charged story that will evoke tears of sorrow as well as tears of joy. Although it is a thick book (560 pages), I found it difficult to put down, as the fast pace kept the story galloping forward at breakneck speed. God's love is shown through imperfect characters trying to live out their calling - just as we are today. This is a Christian/Inspirational book, yet it is rich in historical detail, and the faith message is not preachy. Anyone who enjoys historical novels will be thoroughly entranced by this series.

It is necessary to read the first two books in the series - Thorn in My Heart and Fair is the Rose - as the character and storyline development from these books are critical to Whence Came a Prince. A helpful glossary of Scottish terms is included (Scottish dialect is used throughout and gives an authentic flavor to the book). In her author's note, Higgs mentions that another book featuring these same characters is to be expected in 2006. Visit the Scottish lowlands and lose yourself in this fantastic series.

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