Lori Benton’s books have been on my must read list since I read the opening pages of Burning Sky. It was such a beautifully written book that I couldn’t imagine one better. Of course I have come to realize that each and every one of this author’s books have been so very well researched and thought out that they couldn’t help but become another masterpiece in her repertoire. The King’s Mercy joins those novels as a standout among Christian historical romance.

Alex MacKinnon’s life is one of tragedy and loss. Although allowed to live by the king’s mercy, his exile to a North Carolina plantation as an indentured servant only served to increase his anger about the unfairness of his circumstances. Friendship with Joanna Carey, daughter of the plantation owner only increases his hopelessness since she is expected to marry Reeves, the overseer.

The King’s Mercy is an engaging tale filled with vivid descriptions of life during that era and well defined characters readers will either love or hate. The author skillfully illustrates how choices we make affects our lives and beautifully contrasts the earthly king’s mercy with the mercy of our true King in heaven. There is a wonderful depth to this story that should leave readers pondering their own faith. I was held captive by this book and held my breath at times as I wondered what would happen next and if the truly evil person would ever be exposed. Reverend Pauling added an extra layer to the story with his wisdom and willingness to lay his own life down for others.

I highly recommend The King’s Mercy and encourage every reader who loves historical fiction to grab a copy as soon as possible.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Waterbrook Multnomah. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy–transport across the Atlantic Ocean and exile to the colony of North Carolina–he’s indentured as a blacksmith to Edmund Carey, prosperous owner of Severn Plantation. The arrangement devastates the Scot who mourns the life he lost and finds life on a slave plantation intolerable. Unwittlingly, Alex is drawn into the plight of Carey’s slaves, particularly those connected to Carey’s stepdaughter, Joanna.

A mistress longing for a different life, Joanna Carey is expected to wed the plantation’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, who has no patience for her kinder vision for Severn’s future. For guidance, Joanna relies on itinerant minister Reverend Pauling, who travels to the plantation seasonally, bringing the gospel to all with ears to listen.

Despite his growing bond with Joanna, Alex longs to break the chains of servitude and forge his freedom, until he’s faced with the choice that hounds him: continue down his destructive, rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no earthly power can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender and perhaps Alex’s very life.


Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God’s transforming grace.

Lori’s debut novel, Burning Sky, earned the 2014 Christy Award for First Novel, Historical, and Book of the Year.