The White Mare (Dalriada Trilogy Series #1)

( 12 )

Overview

It is 79 A.D., and the tribes of Scotland are among the last holdouts to the Roman conquest of Britain. Unaware of the perils that face them, embroiled in internecine squabbles, they will soon be faced with a grave choice: band together or become slaves. Rhiann, a Scottish priestess and princess, is forced into a marriage arranged to promote a strategic alliance. Scarred by a horrific past, she desperately looks for a way out, but sees only the Romans closing in. Into this volatile situation sails an Irish ...
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The White Mare: The Dalraida Trilogy, Book One

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Overview

It is 79 A.D., and the tribes of Scotland are among the last holdouts to the Roman conquest of Britain. Unaware of the perils that face them, embroiled in internecine squabbles, they will soon be faced with a grave choice: band together or become slaves. Rhiann, a Scottish priestess and princess, is forced into a marriage arranged to promote a strategic alliance. Scarred by a horrific past, she desperately looks for a way out, but sees only the Romans closing in. Into this volatile situation sails an Irish prince, Eremon, exiled from his home by familial treachery. His aim is to win renown and regain his throne, but first he has to deal with an unexpected alliance, prove himself a military leader, and unite the feuding tribes of his adopted country.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Australian author Watson deftly blends fact and fancy, action and romance in her splendid historical fantasy debut, set in first-century A.D. Alba (aka Scotland). On the death of Brude, king of the Epidii tribe (aka the People of the Horse), the duty falls on Brude's priestess sister, Rhiann, as the Mother of the Land, to continue the royal line. The sudden arrival during the king's funeral of Eremon, an exiled Irish prince of Dalriada who yearns to reclaim his throne, is taken as a good omen, and the Epidii offer Rhiann as a bride in exchange for help in defeating the encroaching Romans. Eremon quickly accepts, but their emotionally complicated "marriage" creates problems that are just as discouraging as the conflicts among Alba's warring tribes and with Agricola, governor of the Roman province of Britannia. In addition to an appealing love story, well-researched settings and an interesting take on goddess worship rooted in Neolithic times, Watson provides some mystical moments that confirm that "[h]istory can turn on many things. On a word. On a sword blade. On a girl, running up a mountain path, amber hair flying in the wind." Agent, Maggie Loach Literary Agency. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Adventure in ancient Scotland that's a potent mix of historical fiction, druid-tinged fantasy, and romance. With nods to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon and Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, newcomer Watson presents an ancient Scotland peopled by strong-minded women and powered by ancient, goddess-based magic. Redheaded Rhiann is the last of the royal line of the Epidii tribe, the tribe's "Ban Cre," charged with producing an heir; she's a healer, trained in her art in the all-female environs of the Sacred Isle; and she's an unwilling rival for her tribe's power-hungry chief druid. She's also one of the few local leaders who can see that the Roman army is a force that must be reckoned with; most other tribal headmen are counting on the geographic isolation of Scotland (here called "Alba") to protect it from General Agricola's advancing red-clad menace. Rhiann has enough vision to realize that unless the tribes of Alba band together, Agricola will pick them off one by one. Luckily, her husband, one Eremon of Erin (Ireland), who was chosen to be her partner in an arranged marriage, is in accord. Together, the two prepare to convince the other kings of the wisdom of partnership. Meanwhile, there's the difficult business of offspring: Rhiann had a bad experience with raiders and can't stand a man's touch. And Eremon has troubles of his own: he's hiding the fact that he and his 20 loyal followers were banished from Erin by his treacherous uncle. There are plenty of plotlines, but Watson keeps them nicely dovetailed and tightly laced with romantic tension, treachery, and cliffhangers aplenty. She's done her homework, boning up on Tacitus for historical detail and verisimilitude, butthere's imagination here, too, and the work's all the better for it. Mightily appealing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585676200
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Series: Dalriada Trilogy Series , #1
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 1,064,646
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.55 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Historical fiction with war, romance, and fantasy

    I loved the trilogy. It was a page-turner and was better than what I was expecting. I learned about a period in time while being entertained. Can't beat that.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2007

    This is one of the best historical fiction books I have read.

    I enjoyed this book and the Dawn stag because of the portrayl of Celtic life and their beliefs. This book was a reason for me to study the Celtic people.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2007

    One of the Best Books I've Ever Read!

    This book is a deeply touching story about redemption, growth, and finding that underneath all our faults and scars there is a soul worth loving. The romantic tension is incredibly pulling with a mix of frustrated anger, hopeful longing, and the discovery that you're true love is not always what you are looking for. I would highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a powerful, stirring and redemning read of historical fantasy, of love, and of overcoming fear.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Great historical fiction

    In 79 A.D. Alba remains one of the last British keeps not controlled by the Roman invaders. However, the Epidii People of the Horse tribe are very concerned over losing their freedom as King Brude has just died. Attending the regal funeral is exiled Irish Prince Eremon. The tribe sees his arrival as a positive omen because he can lead while also begetting the blood heir by marrying Brude's priestess sister Rhiann. He accepts seeing this as a springboard to regaining what he lost due to treachery she struggles with marrying anyone having been abused by raiders and unable to handle being touched................. Eremon knows he must unite the tribes if they are to keep the Romans out of their somewhat isolated land. Most of the leaders of the tribes cannot see the threat from the invaders so ignore his efforts to unite before Governor-General Agricola spreads Britannia¿s rule into the north. Rhiann agrees with her new husband¿s assessment, but has her own problems with Druid rivals and his desire to make her pregnant............. This is a terrific ancient historical fiction tale that brings to life Scotland (Alba) in the first century as the Romans are strengthening their hold on the Britannia. The story line is filled with picturesque action that brings to life the detail of the era. At the same time the lead couple seems genuine as they have marital problems, Roman and Druid issues, and his hidden agenda to defeat the uncle who dethroned him. Fans will appreciate this powerful look 79 AD Scotland....... Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2005

    Best Book.... Ever.

    I literally could not put this book down. The way Jules Watson blends Scotland's ancient cultures and the characters is masterful, and I just cannot wait for the second one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2005

    Loved it.

    I couldn't put this one down. There was a great mix of action and romance, fighting, and sex. For those who love historical novels or those who like Celtic themes, druid/goddess lore, this is not to be missed. All the characters are interesting and you want to know more. The pace of the action is good. Can't wait for the next installment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2005

    When does 'Book Two' come out!?

    An amazing collection of characters and an entertaining plotline fuels this romantic adventure you can't put down. You not only find your self in love with the main characters, but you are routing for the supporting characters as well. This historical Celtic tale is wrapped up in mystery, deceit, love, hate, action and drama. I finished it in just three days and I am counting down till the second Dalraida installation comes out next summer. I loved the book and have recommended it to friends, co-workers, and even bought it for my mother.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2005

    great read!

    i read this book in one day. it a fantastic book. i would definetly recamend it too anyone who likes historical fiction

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    Posted January 7, 2014

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    Posted December 31, 2009

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    Posted July 16, 2011

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