Daughter of Lir

Written by Judith Tarr
Review by Ilysa Magnus

At the dawn of history, the People of the Horse Goddess are faced with war and annihilation. In this worthwhile sequel to White Mare’s Daughter, it is now Rhian, whose people migrated westward eons before to Lir, the City of the Mother, who must protect those she loves. Raised quietly by a potter, Rhian does not know that she is the daughter of the Mother. As a seer, Rhian is tormented by dreams of war – of war machines she later learns are chariots – led by the people who live far to the east on the Steppes.

Rhian meets Emry, who she does not know is the king’s son and her brother. With a small band, they travel to the Steppes. The one thing that the Goddess’s people have, and those of the Steppes do not have, is bronze. Trading bronze for chariot-making lessons, the Goddess’s people further arm themselves. What is to come is already written, but Rhian has made it possible for those who worship the Goddess to protect their way of life.

Tarr is a wonderful and imaginative storyteller. The action moves quickly, and the characters are fully developed, complex, and believable. The close bond between Emry and Rhian is palpable, and the love between Rhian and Minas, who should be Rhian’s mortal enemy, is a testament to the ability of love to overcome strife. I enjoyed this book even though I am not a “prehistory” fan.