The King’s Mercy (2019)

About the Book

BookThe King’s Mercy

Author: Lori Benton

Publisher: WaterBrook

Release Date: June 4, 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy–exile to the Colony of North Carolina–he’s indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey’s slaves–and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant’s heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith.

As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerant preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees. Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he’s faced with the choice that’s long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex’s very life.

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My Thoughts

The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton is a highly engaging novel that I could not put down! I found the characters to be expertly crafted. They are unique and endearing, except for Mr. Reeves. He’s absolutely creepy and frustrating and villainous! His character adds superb tension. I found the historical detail fascinating. It is clear Benton did impeccable research for this novel. I truly felt transported to North Carolina in the late 1740s. And, I appreciate the many timely themes discussed in this book. The King’s Mercy would make a great book club selection as there is SO much to discuss. Overall, The King’s Mercy is a must-read story.

Of the many thematic topics discussed in The King’s Mercy, I really love the inference to Esther 4:14. In Esther 4, Mordecai delivers a message to his niece, Esther. Esther is the only one who has the power to help her entire nation, but to do that she has to do something that could be extremely dangerous to herself. Naturally, she balks at the task. Mordecai tells her that it’s fine, someone else will rise to the challenge, but not doing the task will cause her and her family to be forgotten forever. He then utters one of the most famous lines in all the Bible: “Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” The point Mordecai makes is that God does everything with purpose — nothing is an accident. Sure, Esther can do what’s best for herself, but perhaps God made her explicitly for this one task. To not do the task means to go against God’s purpose for her. When put in those terms, it’s difficult for Esther to ignore God’s call.

Alex MacKinnon is an Esther (as we all are). Like Esther, Alex needs a counselor who will help him realize that his walk on this earth is not random, but is with purpose. God puts us all exactly where we are supposed to be for a reason. Nothing is done by chance. It may feel that way, but it’s ultimately not. Alex’s life looks bad. He finds himself fighting for a cause that ultimately brands him a traitor to England. He is captured and sentenced to death, but at the last minute is granted the king’s mercy and sent to America where he is indentured for 7 years. Once he gets to America he begins his time as a servant, but realizes that things are not as they appear. He is drawn to the mistress of Severn, Edmund Carey’s daughter, Joanna, and gets the sense that she needs him. But how can that be? He’s basically a slave and she is the daughter of a plantation owner. How could he ever be someone Joanna would need? It takes a wise itinerant preacher to show Alex that he is at Severn for a purpose — for such a time as this — and his purpose may just be to save Joanna’s life and the lives of the many who call Severn home. It takes Alex a long while to figure it out, and makes for one adventurous read, but eventually he comes to understand what we all must understand: God does NOTHING by accident and we are ALL created for a purpose. We just need to trust in Him and He will see us through.

There really is a whole lot more I could say about The King’s Mercy; this review doesn’t do the novel justice. If you have not read this excellent story I highly recommend adding this book to your TBR list immediately. The King’s Mercy is a solid historical romance that I won’t soon forget!

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from on May 7, 2020, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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