Sixth-century Scotland—in the time of Arthur….
“The Gowrys’ seed shall divide your mighty house and bring a peace beyond the ken of your wicked soul.”
Her mother’s dying prophecy to the chieftain Tarlach O’Byrne sentenced Brenna of Gowrys to twenty years of hiding. Twenty years of being hunted—by the O’Byrnes, who fear the prophecy, and by her kinsmen, who expect her to lead them against their oppressors. But Brenna is a trained and gifted healer, not a warrior queen. So she lives alone in the wilderness with only her pet wolf for company. When she rescues a man badly wounded from an ambush, she believes he may be the answer to her deep loneliness. Healing him comes as easy as loving him. But can their love overcome years of bitterness and greed…and bring peace and renewed faith to the shattered kingdom?
Fascinating. Absolutely fascinating.
Brenna is an unlikely heroine and one who, at times, seems a little too good and perfect. Her history is marked by murder and she lives in hiding, but she is raised in the Christian faith and grows up strong and capable, with a heart full of love for all things and people. As she nurses Ronan O'Byrne, the last thing she imagines is falling in love with him. But, having inherited her mother's healing abilities as well as her ability to see into the future, Brenna also knows what is to come and that she and Ronan have the potential to unite their warring clans. Together they uncover mystery and intrigue as they attempt to persuade his father Tarlach to see reason.
I loved the interweaving of Arthurian legend with the early beginnings of the Christian church and pagan traditions in Celtic Scotland. The use of herbal healing or nature magic was interesting as it was used for both good and bad, often accompanying dark magic. Windsor's research is exhaustive and there is an extensive bibliography at the end of the book, as well as extensive notes.
A bit medieval and Lord of the Rings-ish, this was a compelling story and one I had hard time putting down. I thought that there might be too many characters to keep track of, but that wasn't the case. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.
Thanks to First Wildcard, David C. Cook and Audra Jennings of the B&B Media Group for the opportunity to review this novel. You can learn more about Linda Windsor here. You can read the first chapter here. You can purchase your own copy here.
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