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Jules Watson's parents are English but she was brought up in Australia. She now lives in Sussex. She is in her early 30s. This is her first novel.
A sweeping historical epic of love, honour and the fight for freedom as the Romans invade Britain. It is the first in a trilogy which I understand will span three centuries. The second, The Dawn Stag, comes in an expensive, large paperback (tpb) at the same time. It’s glorious stuff, both deep and wholly absorbing. I really enjoyed it. Comparison: Manda Scott’s Boudica, Bernard Cornwell, Juliet Marillier.Similar this month: Neal Stephenson, Lian Hearn (but fantasy).
Roman England, 366 AD. Minna, a Roman serving girl, loses family and home and is flung out into the brutal world to fend for herself. Desperate to reach her soldier brother at the northern frontier, she falls in with Cian, a tribeless youth with no loyalty to anyone but himself. A terrible mistake sees them thrust into the wilds of barbarian Scotland, a land in chaos. The Romans have sent scouts north from their frontier, seeking to subdue Scotland by any means possible. The dark Picts retaliate, raiding and pillaging Roman farms. And caught in the middle is Cahir, King of the Dalriadans in Scotland. Year by year he has watched his people fall under the Roman yoke, and wounded by shame, his power dwindles. At Cahir's fort, Cian and Minna must struggle to survive. Cian retreats into the pain of his hidden past, while Minna has an entirely unexpected path open before her. What are these magical visions and dreams of Scotland - full of battles and bloodshed - that plague her? Minna's visions soon reveal a spiritual destiny that she shares with the wounded king Cahir. Yet her journey to heal them both has far-reaching consequences. In the vein of Marion Zimmer Bradley's million-seller The Mists of Avalon, The Boar Stone mixes battles, danger, love, honor, sacrifice, Celtic magic and the passionate desire for freedom from tyranny. Minna thinks herself nothing, a girl with no family and no home. Yet when she is taken to Scotland as a slave, the land itself - and an unforeseen love - awaken her soul. Visions reveal she is not only linked to her famous ancestors, Rhiann and Eremon of Dunadd, but that her destiny will determine Scotland's very future, and its freedom from the Roman yoke. This is the third in a trilogy about the Celts and Romans in Scotland. The other books in the series are also available now as e-books.
AD 81. Agricola, the ruthless governor of Roman Britain is intent on capturing the last unconquered territory in Britain - Alba: Scotland. Rhiann is an Alban priestess and princess who submitted to a political marriage to Eremon, an exiled Irish prince. Out of duty, grew love - a powerful and desperate love that will bind them together through conflict and betrayal. Now in them lies the hope of a nation. For Agricola's army is formidable - brilliantly armed and heavily supported. To the people of Alba it is a wall of steel and fire advancing across their homeland, bringing with it desolation. The predestined day draws near: the armies of Alba and Rome will meet in an epic battle to decide the fate of a country. Rhiann searches for guidance in the spirit world, little realizing how big a part she will play in this endgame. Eremon knows only that he must risk - and sacrifice - many lives, perhaps even his own... In the vein of Marion Zimmer Bradley's million-seller The Mists of Avalon, The Dawn Stag mixes battles, danger, love, honor, sacrifice, Celtic magic and the passionate desire for freedom from tyranny. Rhiann not only has to deal with the challenges of this savage world - and keeping alive the love of her life - but also struggles with her loyalty to the Otherworld and to the goddess that she feels has betrayed her. This is the second in a trilogy about the Celts and Romans in Scotland. The other novels in the series are also available as e-books.
AD 79 and Agricola, the ruthless governor of Roman Britain, is turning his attentions to the last unconquered territory in Britain - Alba, Scotland. Rhiann is a courageous and beautiful Scottish princess and priestess scarred by her violent past. Of noble blood, she faces what for her is the ultimate sacrifice - a forced marriage - to protect the freedom of her people. Eremon is an enigmatic Irish prince in exile, who must seek an alliance elsewhere to regain his throne. Will he prove himself to be the man who can unite the squabbling Celtic tribes against the more ominous threat of Rome? With war and chaos looming for her people, Rhiann finds herself drawn into an unexpected journey of the spirit and heart, which will reveal the true purpose of her life. In the vein of Marion Zimmer Bradley's million-seller The Mists of Avalon, The White Mare mixes battles, danger, love, honor, sacrifice, Celtic magic and the passionate desire for freedom from tyranny. Rhiann not only has to deal with the challenges of life in this savage world, and a man she is bound to against her will. She also struggles with her loyalty to the Otherworld and her life as a priestess, and with the goddess that she feels has betrayed her. This is the first in a trilogy about the Celts and Romans in Scotland. The other books in the series are also available now as e-books.