Review by Deborah Swift, award-winning- best seller- author of historical fiction
"I bought this book on #KindleUnlimited and admit I knew nothing about early Scottish or Irish history, so this was really interesting. It is not for the faint-hearted as early on in the book it contains the sort of sex and violence you might expect from warring tribes of this era. Hand to hand fighting with sword and fists is a very different battlefield to that of today. Don’t let this put you off though, as it is extremely well-researched with episodes covering a vast swathe of history. The sort of hand to mouth existence is well-described, the flat-bottomed boats, the reliance on horses, the language of Brittonic, the burns and brochs, the rocks and seashore. I loved the travel between Scotland and Ireland, and the description of life in the Irish fort at Tara, Meath.
I enjoyed Fergus’ character as he grows and develops. The characters are rough men, used to fighting, manipulating, wielding threats and death to those that cross them. Erc was a great character – he dispenses the wisdom born of age, and came across as hard-headed but realistic. ‘If you receive favours instead of being a leader by merit, then your men will not trust you wholly, nor follow you blindly’.
There is a lot in this novel and you have to keep your wits about you as a reader as it zips from place to place. Rowena Kinread’s love of the history of these people shines through and for anyone interested in their Scottish or Irish origins, or early Christian and Druid history, it is a must read."