Book Review: Guardian of the Freedom by Irene Radford

guardian of the freedomGuardian of the Freedom by Irene Radford
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

With the fifth book in the series, we reach a very divisive age for both the British Empire and the Kirkwood family, the descendants of Merlin and Arthur in the Pendragon line. King George III has recently taken the throne, and, unlike some of his royal predecessors, he seems only too willing to cut himself off from the counsel and magical protection of the current Pendragon, Drake Kirkwood, the Earl of Kirkenwood.

1763: all of Europe is at war with each other and the Turks are storming toward Vienna. The magical protection of Britain requires that Georgina Kirkwood, a potential Merlin, leave the secret Pendragon Society and disguise herself as a man to fight for England.

 Wounded and no longer able to carry a sword, Georgina is recruited by the King as a spy in the American Colonies.

Transplanted to a land and people vibrant with life and ideas, she begins to question her loyalties. Only her love for Major Roderick Wythe gives her the means to work with Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams and many other notable leaders to discover what being the Merlin truly means and to determine who she is protecting from whom.

Drake, suffering from ill health which is not entirely natural, has slowly allowed others in the Pendragon Society – the secret circle of magic practitioners dedicated to the protection and preservation of Great Britain – to play a greater role in government than they should. His rebellious sister Georgina has long been absent from England, off fighting in foreign wars in a disguise that allows her entree to places and events no woman would normally see. With Georgina away, Drake has come to depend, perhaps far too much, on a distant cousin, Dr. Milton Marlowe, a prominent member of the Pendragon Society.

But suddenly situations both at home and abroad have begun to escalate to crisis proportions. Georgina, badly injured in the war, returns home at last. When she finds, to her horror, that Drake seems to be on the brink of death, she knows she can no longer shirk her responsibilities nor deny her magical heritage.”

Received as part of the May 2012 batch from Librarything‘s Early Reviewer batch, and to mark the publication of this book as an ebook. Number 5 in the series of Merlin’s descendants and I believe the last in the series.

Set in the mid 18th century, the Kirkwood family is now large and extended, and there is a Pendragon Society with various ranks of magicians. There is still a Pendragon at it’s head (Drake) and Drake’s sister Georgiana – a tomboy if ever there was one – is almost as strong magically as him

For various reason she finds herself in America in the lead up to the Boston Tea party and American Independence, isolated from her immediate family, but still having to fight a war against chaos and dark magic. Finally she was to return home, to help her family in one final fight to the death with the forces of dark and evil.

This is a much stronger book than the previous book – Guardian of the Promise (which I found to be the weakest of the series). It brought much of the previous stories together, tied things back to the original stories nicely without seeming to be a “end of series clip show”. It has plenty of action from the start, and showed a good strong development to the end.

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