The King's Mercy

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Member Reviews

The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton was a fabulous historical fiction read. I LOVED it.

Very well researched and historically accurate, the story takes place during the colonial times (circa 1746 to 1750) and centers on Alex MacKinnon, a Scotsman who survived Culloden, (which was considered rebellion against the king; and the king showed him mercy by exiling him) and finds himself on a prison boat to the New World, where he is promptly sold into indentured servitude.

His servitude leads him to become the new blacksmith at a plantation in North Carolina, where he meets young Joanna Carey, stepdaughter of the plantation owner Edmund Carey. He is taken with her strength and beauty, but a little off put by her faith, which is something that he struggles with.

The novel has a wide assortment of characters, young and old, rich and poor, noble and villain. I don’t consider it a love story, in so much as adventurous mystery with love and faith in Christ woven beautifully throughout. She also weaves in other historical elements, such as the Cherokee Indians and interactions with them.

It kept me fully engaged, and eagerly turning page after page to find out what happens next. It made me upset, it made me laugh, it made me angry. It covers topics (such as slavery) that while standard at the time, are controversial. Lori Benton did not try to sugar coat them but dove in deep, so you were invested in the story. She really gave you things to think about. 

There is a dark and more mature themed plot twist. Considering this, I would probably not allow a young person to read this. I would think high school or higher, but would also recommend a parent read it first, or read it together. 

It would be a wonderful book discussion book as there are rich topics throughout that may lend themselves to a good discussion. 

I highly recommend the book.

Please note, I was given an advanced reader’s copy by the publisher, through Net Galley.
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I liked this book well enough. It started well, ended well, the middle part when they're all just living at the plantation was a little slow and got a little boring, but I got through it fine. My one complaint would be how the author often uses flashbacks to tell parts of the story. I'm ok with flashbacks when it's flashing back years etc. But the flashbacks used in this book are of things that happened a couple hours ago, or the previous day. It became slightly irritating because A. it was hard to follow when it was the present and when a certain character was having a flashback to the previous day...and B. I want to be in the moment, I want to be there when these things are happening, not reading about it through the character's memory a couple hours later. I'm not sure why the author wrote this way. And these flashbacks were used ALL the time. It was somewhat dizzying. 
Other than that.. I liked everyone fine.. but didn't really LOVE anyone. But I guess that means they're all realistic.
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Whenever I see a new release from Lori Benton, I am jumping to get my hands on the earliest copy.  She is just plain amazing!  And this newest one, A King’s Mercy, took my infatuation with her work to a new level.  

One of Benton’s hallmarks is her ability to weave together rich history, complex characters, and a resounding message while still being fully entertaining.   The emotions of this story are keenly felt, giving rise to a depth of both evil and good.  And the tension between the two is all too apparent as Benton takes you from despair to hope.   Her hero and heroine are beautifully portrayed, accompanied within a plot that calls for integrity, truth, and salvation.

You will not regret delving into these pages.  It is a journey that will hold you captive even beyond the final page!
I received this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.
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The King's Mercy was a Christian historical fiction book that sucked me in from the first page until the last. It was full of page-turning drama, clean romance, and relatable characters. The story followed the life of Alex MacKinnon, a Scotsman who was brought to the United States as an indentured servant. He ends up falling in love with his owner's daughter, and their journey to be together is filled with obstacles that seem insurmountable.  Open this book at your own risk....and prepare to not get much else done until you have finished it!
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This book is everything historical fiction should be! The author does an amazing job transporting you to a different time and place. The love story is sweet, characters unforgettable, and the Biblical theme extremely well done. The King’s Mercy is a must-read for the year!
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'There isna mercy to be granted, by king or God.  He was all but certain no God cared enough to grant it.'

Alastair MacKinnon left God on the battlefield of Culloden and hasn't had need of Him since.  Alex is taken captive and granted the king's mercy, but it's no mercy to him.  Sold as an indentured servant  for seven years in NC's colony near Cape Fear, Alex knows no mercy as far as he is concerned. Alex is to be the new blacksmith at Severn, a vast property with a multitude of slaves, a practice he finds deplorable.  Owner Edmund Carey,  and his stepdaughter Joanna are kind to Alex but the overseer, Phineas Reeves, rubs him the wrong way and Alex can't help but feel something is amiss with the man.  An old preacher, Reverend Pauling, known to the Careys, speaks a word over Alex that he has no desire to hear and it is one of the most powerful statements in the book:  'Almighty God has allowed you, by whatever series of events and decisions brought you to be in this place...if you will allow it, there will be good come of it.'  Turns out to be a most prophetic utterance. 

Events happen which cause Alex great pain and he must forge another path for himself, both physically and spiritually.  But will others suffer because Alex doesn't take the reverend's words seriously?

Reading a novel by Lori Benton is somewhat akin to sitting down at a most anticipated meal with all your favorite dishes.  You begin to eat and each bite is more delectable than the last.  That's the way it was with the book: the more I read, the more I loved the book.  Benton's evocative prose swells beautifully with each description, adding many layers to the story, increasing its value to this reader.  Her descriptions of everything are vivid and fully exquisite beyond imagining.  My heart swelled just reading them.  I finished this book with tears of joy washing my face.  I thank God for the blessing of these words.  Books like this surely cause me to thank God for authors who are obedient to the call of God on their lives to write these words.  A true blessing.  Bravo!  I very highly recommend this book.  

*My thanks to the publisher for a preview copy of this book.  The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
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A captivating book that will leave you hanging on until the very end!
I just love love Lori's books!! I love how they leave you thinking about the book long after it ends! 
I know I know I keep repeat ing myself  but hey! That's what i!I'm supposed to do right? Well, anyway I just enjoyed being talk back to that time and place and I kept wanting to scream at Joanna and wanting to beat Phineas up retched  man!!
I could imagine being and living on Severn.  A beautiful place the way the author described it. I could actually hear Alex working in the blacksmith shop and all sorts of action going on!
I think the thing I liked most was how Joanna stood up for what she believed in and stuck to her guns. I didn't think it was fair that she was forced to grow up but we have no control over what life deals is but we can choose how we deal with it. 
Alex is fascinating. From his accent right down to his body build if y'all know What I mean? lol! But seriously I enjoyed watching him change not the man I knew he could be! 
The reverend I thought was especially the best kind of person! I felt like he was the kind of friend that I can turn to if I wanted to tell deepest, darkest secret. If course if I actually had one! 
I love how he could look into your soul and without saying anything know what you're thinking before you say it!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Waterbrook and Multnomah. No compensations were received and all opinions are my own!!
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This is the first book by Lori Benton that I've read. She has a way with words but I had a hard time getting through this book, The King's Mercy was very slow and my attention wandered all the time. I felt no connection with the characters.

I'm thankful to the publisher and Netgalley for the copy of this book. My views expressed in my review are my own and voluntarily.
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My favorite genre is historical fiction, particularly the Colonial America era. Lori Benton does not disappoint with her newest release The King’s Mercy. She perfectly captures how I have envisioned my ancestors lived back in those times. I was swept away to a beautiful story of hope, faith and inspiration. 
I give My King’s Mercy a well deserved five plus stars. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy well written early American historical fiction. 
I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
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I really liked this book at the beginning. It's very similar to Outlander, in that it's about a Scot who fought at Culloden and ends up in North Carolina. That's where the similarities end, however. This is a story first and foremost about faith and duty to one's family. Alex MacKinnon struggles to find his place as an indentured servant on an English plantation and Joanna struggles to run said plantation. It's not as simple as it seems and everything goes from not-great to absolutely terrible pretty quickly. I enjoyed the twists and turns, as well as the side characters, but the last third was a little slow and it wrapped up way too neatly in my opinion.
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Since having taken up reading historical fiction, I have decided my history knowledge is decidedly patchy! The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton highlights another historic event I had no knowledge of, the battle of Culloden and the fallout for the Jacobite soldiers. Our leading man, Alex MacKinnon, is a part of that battle, a Scottish clansman in support of Charles Edward Stuart, In the Scottish Highlands the Jacobites were soundly defeated by the Hanoverian forces in support of George I.

Losing the battle and the death of many of the clansmen was not seen as sufficient punishment and those who fought against George I stood trial for high treason. Most were sentenced to death which was then commuted to penal transportation to the British colonies! Of all this I was completely unaware but in this context our adventure begins.

Arriving in America on a plantation full of slaves and hardship, Alex tries to adjust to loss of his home, friends and standing and settle into being an indentured blacksmith. Astute, he soon deduces all is not as it seems on Carey’s estate. A series of accidents and deaths sets Alex up to assisting the mistress of the house, Joanna. Her faith runs deep and she is supported by Reverend Pauling who visits periodically to encourage them all.

The cast of characters is large and to share more on each would give away the enjoyment of discovering them as one reads. As expected, living in 1747 on a plantation is brutal and harsh and my sensibilities had me flinching several times. However, the book was too filled with hope and Christian faith for me to put it down. I cared too deeply for the characters and had to know how it would resolve!

It took me until about 75% of the way through to fully realise the way in which the book followed a bible story but when I did I appreciated the story all the more!

The story is full of the unexpected and I just loved it! I highly recommend it, it’s a five out of five on the en-JOY-ment scale!
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I love Lori’s novels and they’re always such a good read! Her writing is so descriptive and real and I always in awe of her stories!!! This one is perfection!!!
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It took me a few to get through the book a few times decided not to even finish but kept saying surely it will go faster! I enjoyed the characters in he story very colorful people and it made you think about your own relationship with God. Great outlook on the beginning of this new world they were living in! So glad I didn't give up in reading this!!😺
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One of the things that stands out most to me about this book is the cast of characters. There is wide range of characters from many backgrounds. Benton delves beneath the layers of many of them revealing the depth of their convictions, personal struggles, and quest for a better life. Their were some dark elements to the plot that surprised me but they were critical to the story line. Although Alex and Joanna's romance was very unusual considering their positions on the plantation, their immediate attraction to each other is evident. I enjoyed seeing their relationship bloom as they continued to grow closer in unexpected ways. Lastly, the pinnacle of the story where all is explained about the misfortunes that have fallen on the Careys was shocking and intense! Enjoyed this book page after page after page!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. A review was not required. The thoughts and opinions expressed are solely my own.
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The writing is beautiful, but the story takes too long to start, to the point I lost interest. The main reason I found the beginning so slow was because of all the flashbacks to England and to Alex's time on the prison hulk. We know from the first scene that he's in North Carolina in indentured servitude, so why spend a good portion of the first quarter reminding us of how he got there? It slowed the story to a standstill.

It didn't help that the Amazon book description refers to Alex being blamed for various tragedies (none of which occurred in the first quarter of the book), then living with the Cherokees (which still hadn't happened at the halfway point). 

I gave up. The book description should whet the appetite, not give away the plot. Sure, readers want to have a broad idea where the plot is going, but give us the main characters and the central conflict, not all the major plot points. #NoSpoilers

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
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“In every ending,” Alex said, “there’s also a beginning. That’s a thing I’ve learned.”

Impeccably written and well developed, The King’s Mercy is complex and filled with descriptive detail. I loved the book’s depth and voice and the way the story stays in my head.  This sixth novel from author Lori Benton brings together an unlikely pair; Alex MacKinnon, a bitter young man exiled from his native Scotland and sold into indenture and Joanna Carey, a hard working young woman  dedicated to doing the right things in life while living amidst slavery at her stepfather’s plantation in North Carolina. 

The book begins in 1747, a complex and changing time during our nation’s history.  The story offers a vivid portrayal of early life in the Piedmont of North Carolina. The setting brings the reader right into the working world of the plantation alongside the characters and eventually travels to the Native American world of the Cherokee as well.  The primary characters are sincere, strong, and memorable, and in addition, the secondary characters have depth and add much to the story. 

The book does not hesitate to tackle some deep issues like child abuse, slavery, the loss of personal freedoms, and the struggle of faith during difficult times.  Explore the themes of grace and mercy woven through this book as Alex and Joanna show resiliency and ingenuity to overcome their difficulties and move on to a different way of life. 

I highly recommend this book to readers of historical fiction and inspirational fiction.  The book is truly an amazing read. 

I received this book from Waterbrook and the author. The above thoughts and opinions I have expressed are wholly my own. 
#TheKingsMercy #NetGalley
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I was very excited to read Lori Benton's new book The King's Mercy. Believe me, it did not disappoint. Her characters are so real, when you read the last page, you want to sit down and write them a letter or send them a text. Alex McKinnon is my new favorite book boyfriend. He is a captured  Scottish warrior, six and a half feet tall, who survives Culloden More, only to be indentured  as a blacksmith for seven years in the Colony of North Carolina. Alex is not without his flaws, which makes him more enduring and believable. It was wonderful seeing him grow as a person, leader and later in his faith. Joanna Carey is the step daughter of the plantations owner. She has been thrown into the position of running the household at an early age, because of the death of her mom. Joanna has a servants heart. You will find her doctoring the sick, sewing clothes for the slaves and being a friend to the house staff. There are so many interesting secondary characters that you will love or love to hate. Some of the situations in the story are dark and troublesome. But Lori's excellent writing and storytelling does a good job of recording that time in history. She can bring out a light in the darkness.
I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook and Multnomah Publishers through Net Galley. The opinions expressed in this review are my own
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I have read Lori Benton before and enjoyed her books. But I had a hard time getting through her newest book, The King's Mercy. I found it very slow and it couldn't keep my attention. I felt no connection with the characters, and couldn't feel along with them.

I am sorry to Lori Benton for the sad review, but I just didn't think this book very good.
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Lori Benton writes historical fiction that includes Native American tribes in the early years of the colonization of this country.  The King's Mercy begins in Britain and sails across the Atlantic to the Carolinas.   In the beginning Alex is taken prisoner for his part in the Scottish uprising.  Instead of being put to death, he is sent on a ship to the colonies for an indenture. 

Alex's indenture is bought by Edmund Carey whose plantation needs a blacksmith.  Edmund's daughter, Joanna, oversees most of the slaves of the Severn plantation but the field hands are watched by an Overseer named Reeves.  That is where Alex and Joanna met.  

Because of Reeves, Edmund gets sick, the slaves are mistreated, and various buildings around the estate burned down.  Reeves has a slave named Demas whose very size is intimidating, and will up to a point do what Reeves wants him to do.  When Reeves blames Alex for all the misfortunes happening at the plantation, he is locked into a shed, but Reeves lets him go and he runs away. 

After a few days, he finds one of the really young slaves following him and she wants him to take her to the Cherokee encampment. What she has hidden from everyone is that she is pregnant.  When her labor starts, the Cherokees find her and take them both captive until she reveals that she is part Cherokee. 

This book contains everything from mystery to jealousy to love to anger to lust to finding faith when it is needed most. 

Lori is one talented author whose books will always make my TBR list and THIS book is a five star book, with two thumbs up, and an Eden for a new settlement.

I want to thank Waterbrook/Multnomah for their dedication to high quality publishing and to NetGalley for providing the galley I read for this review.
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Set in colonial America; Alex, a prisoner from the failed Jacobite uprising, is indentured to a plantation. Bitter and angry at his fate he slowly learns to care for the others around him and the problems they face. In particular he is drawn to the plantation owners daughter Joanna who struggles with maintaining the plantation while her heart longs for a simpler life. Their troubles increase as the plantation is beset by a series of setbacks and accidents.....or are they not so accidental? 

This story was masterfully written and drew me in from the beginning. My family came to America in similar circumstances so the story resonated with me. The characters and story-line were complex and fascinating. The King's Mercy definitely goes on my "read again" list. One note - due to some of the subjects the book touches on it might not be appropriate for young readers.
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