Song of the North
Roman Britannia, AD 366. Minna, a servant girl of mixed Roman and British blood, feels out of place and discontented with her life. The Romans whisper about her native features and strange visions of the old pagan gods; her brother wants to sell her off in marriage to advance his military career; and her beloved British grandmother has just died, leaving her alone in a world she wants no part of. Hopeless and desperate, Minna runs away to seek her own fortune. On the road she meets Cian, a traveling performer and skilled horseman, who becomes her only friend when they are captured by marauders and sold into slavery north of the Roman Wall, in the vast unconquered land of Alba.
The young pair ends up in the court of Cahir, ruler of the western Alban kingdom of Dalriada, and his Rome-loving queen, Maeve. In Cahir’s kingdom, a place of mixed loyalties and intrigues as ancient and mysterious as Alba itself, Minna finally discovers her identity and her destiny, a destiny tied to Dalriada and its gods, its wars, its secrets, and its king.
Song of the North is a blend of fact and fiction, history and myth, love and battle, Scotland and Rome. In short, this book is right up my alley. It’s epic historical fantasy in the vein of Morgan Llywelyn, Marion Zimmer Bradley, or Donna Gillespie, filled with memorable characters, tense action, romance, intrigue, and a little bit of magic all woven into a richly layered plot. The pages turned themselves, and the characters stayed with me after I put the book down. Despite being the third volume in the Dalriada trilogy, it stands alone as its own story. I very much look forward to reading the rest of the series.
The Boar Stone (UK)