Author: George MacDonald
Title: The Marquis’ Secret
Description: This is the sequel to The Fisherman’s Lady. Both books are Bethany House republications of George MacDonald words that have been altered to tone down the Scottish dialect. In this book, Malcolm attempts to dissuade his newly discovered sister from a disastrous marriage and he may be falling in love himself.
Plot: I’m trying to avoid spoilers for those who haven’t read the first book. The plot in this book is more intricate and less gothic than the first book, and I enjoyed it more.
Characters: Malcolm, as in the first book, is a bit too good to be true. MacDonald uses him as an example of a Christian man, but no Christian man is this perfect (I know, I live with one who is pretty close). I don’t think in either of the two books that Malcolm makes a single false move.
Writing style: A lot of Scottish dialect still, but it’s not difficult to read. This kind of overtly didactic (some would say preachy) tone is out of style now, but I did enjoy the book.
Audience: MacDonald’s fantasy novels were an inspiration for C.S. Lewis, which is why a lot of people pick them up (Princess and the Goblin, Princess and Curdie, etc.). Fans of historical Christian fiction would also probably like it.
Wrap-up: I’d definitely recommend reading the first one before reading this one, or you’ll be confused about a lot of the plot and earlier character development. I thought this book was the better of the two, and I enjoyed reading this version (as opposed to the original, which I haven’t seen, but I’m not crazy about trying to figure out dialect). 4/5*