To the Waters and the Wild: A Novel

To the Waters and the Wild: A Novel

by S.C. McGrath


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Shrouded in mystery, ancient Eire nurtured a people both eloquent and fierce. Scholars and warriors were honored with like reverence and women were recognized as equals to men. Within this isolated world of poetry and warfare, Keelin, a fearless chieftain's daughter, struggles to understand her fate. Gifted by the gods in the arts of healing and telepathy, and destined to become a priestess, she nonetheless rails against such a solitary and self-sacrificing life. She chafes under the strict tutelage of the austere priestess, Nuala, who demands unerring scholarship and dedication. Torn by conflicting emotions, Keelin imagines a life possible only in her dreams.

Keelin’s troubles are soon overshadowed by a dire threat to her island home. The most powerful civilization in the ancient world has turned a covetous eye toward Eire and an invasion is imminent. Rife with clan rivalries and blood feuds, Eire and its defiantly independent people seem doomed, forcing Keelin to resolve her internal strife and quickly hone her extrasensory powers to help defeat the invader. So, too, Eire’s clans must unite their warriors to battle the forces of the Roman Empire. Among these warriors is Brian, who Keelin has alternately hated and loved for as long as she can remember. The approaching battle will irrevocably seal their fate.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780991449323
Publisher: Seanachie Press
Publication date: 05/21/2019
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 342,303
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

A native Californian, S.C. McGrath grew up in western Malibu, riding her horse on the beach and in the hills, and weaving stories and daydreaming. Now, many years later, not much has changed. McGrath still rides in the Santa Monica Mountains-either on a horse or a motorcycle-enjoying flights of fancy along the way.

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To the Waters and the Wild: A Novel 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous 7 days ago
Although I did get major 'Brave' vibes from this (an animation that I enjoyed thoroughly), this book just didn't do it for me. I felt that the characters' emotions were simply too fleeting. Similarly, the scene that opened the novel served no purpose other than to establish the world that the main character lived in. It did not hook me, as a reader, and neither did it tell me more about the main character as a person. This was disappointing. I can say, however, that I loved the blurb and the entire premise of the story. It's what drew me in in the first place. I just felt that the execution could have been better. I don't doubt that there are people who will like this story but unfortunately, no matter how much I want it to be, this one just isn't for me.
Renee7 26 days ago
This book was soooo good. First, I love the way it is written and how flawlessly it tells the story of Keelin. She is such a strong and independent character; it is important for us to read more females like her tucked into stories. Her story is such a strong one and reminds us of how important it is to live up to ourselves and what we want our lives to be. The worldbuilding is this story is perfect and really fits the feel of the island Eire and the overall cultures depicted in this book. Even the conflict, another culture that is more advanced seems to want to go to war with the people of Eire, is well written. I love how crucial Keelin is to that conflict and how she reminds us, in this story, how important one's job is even in the face of war and danger. Great story with great worldbuilding, 100% would recommend!!
Bookish_Brittany 6 months ago
A fictional account of ancient Ireland's battle against a takeover by the Roman Empire, this book also incorporates magic, time travel, espionage, and romance. Keelin has the ability to heal, but she also has other abilities that most of her friends and neighbors are unaware of. When the clans find out that a Roman general is planning on invading Eire (Ireland), the clans must band together and train for months to get ready to defend their country from occupation, slaughter, and slavery. Keelin will get the chance to do more than she ever thought possible, work with the man she has known since childhood, and perhaps even find her destiny along the way. I enjoyed this book overall, especially because it was set in ancient Ireland. The characters were easy to sympathize with, and the setting was well written. I liked reading about the battle strategies, the characters' relationships, and the historical ties. The actual battle itself was probably my favorite part of the book. I did find myself getting bogged down in the middle of the book, so one of my quibbles is the lack of action, as well as the simple world building that could have given so much more. The content overall is not objectionable, except for some mild profanity, some battle violence, and brief sexual content that is basically closed door. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction mixed with magic and romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley's Bookish First program. A positive review was not required, and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
seasaltdaydreams 8 months ago
The pace is slow, largely focused on preparing for war, and there’s not a lot of exposition. You are thrown right into the story and it’s hard to follow what is going on. I found it difficult to keep track of all the similar sounding Irish names. It’s very focused on the build up to the war, and drags at multiple points. I found the most interesting parts to be when Keelin was training to be a priestess. The rest of the story bored me. I expected this story to be more based in Irish folklore and fantasy, but this is more focused on war and the threat of invading Roman troops. There was some fantasy thrown in, but it was not as prevalent as I expected. The story is told in third person from multiple perspectives.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Despite an atmospheric air evident in the beautiful descriptions of ancient Ireland, this book lacked the strong core of interest needed to make it a good story. The book revolves around Keelin, a young woman in possession of mystical healing powers. The dual storylines of the invasion of Éire and Keelin’s education as a Dagda priestess are the primary drivers throughout the book, though particular focus is also given to her uncle Deaglan, a spy for Éire in the coming conflict with Roma. It is both a love story and a coming of age tale, with particular focus on Keelin’s relationship with her childhood friend Brian. Ultimately, the story moved far too slow to sustain any sort of momentum. The reader is aware of the coming battle with Roma almost from the beginning, and while the story should have felt like a build up to the conflict, it seemed to just drag out the inevitable. I felt myself becoming bored with the repetition, and even the allure of spies and young love couldn’t keep my interest. I had high hopes for this novel, since I have an interest in both historical fiction and fantasy, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. I do appreciate the research that went into this novel, since the historical conflict did take place in Éire (Ireland) in the early 1st century, but the blending of real history and fantastical elements (such as mind reading) didn’t work.
Anonymous 12 months ago
3.5 stars. reading the synopsis I was expecting more a romance, and well there is a bit of romance in this story there isn't really a HEA, that's kind of a requirement for my books. the ending will leave you wondering what in the world actually happened. If you like fantasy, magic, war and only a dash of romance then this book is probably for you, it wasn't a hard read and I didn't hate it, It's just not for my taste probably not a book I'd recommend in my normal course of days, I also feel like this is more for a teenage mindset not something I could really connect with, but for a teen who likes fantasy this might be right up their ally. in full discloser I won this book from bookish first for a fair and honest review
iamree More than 1 year ago
For fans of Game of Thrones-type stories? To The Waters and The Wild takes place in a magic, ancient Irish world with priestess potions and people riding their horses to cave dwellings or encampments. The descriptions of this pastoral world contrast with the clans' battles and invasions. The clashes involve elaborate mask disguises, men that seem demonic, and bagpipe music to embolden them before battle. I liked the fact that female characters like Deirdre and Keelin were strong women (although the latter is described simply as "impish" at times by the men). I appreciate the author's effort in writing this book and her research for the geographical and temporal setting. Unfortunately, I just could not get into this book, and I struggled to finish it so that my evaluation would be as fair as possible.
Angie0184 More than 1 year ago
This was just a meh read for me. It seemed like a surface skim, of everything. The world-building wasn’t great, none of the main characters stories were told to any deep satisfaction, the magic wasn’t truly delved into, the romances didn’t really get fully steamy at any point, I didn’t connect with any of the characters enough to truly care when any of them died, it was just, okay. So the main gist is that there’s this otherworld hundreds and hundreds of years ago where Eire (read, Irish) priests and priestesses of the Dagda can go and travel across great distances. They’re all gifted with varying talents. The main character turns out to be a healer and a Starling, someone who can influence thoughts. She uses her talents to help steer the Rohmanach, (Romans, I presume) in ways advantageous in battle for Ireland. There’s a battle, again, pretty anticlimactic, and we’d learned previously, she’s so forgettable I’ve forgotten her name, the main character, was able to travel also through time, something awful happens that makes her want to do that; she goes to her perfect place in time and badaboom, book ends. Ta da! In all seriousness, this book could have been great had the author gotten down in the dirt and really dug in on anything. That wasn’t the case. It was like, a 10,000 foot view of everything. Each chapter seems to skip ahead either weeks or months, with no indication that it’s done so, you just kind of figure it out on your own. I love witchy, priestessy, fantasy novel with a dash of sexy, steamy love story thrown in. I don’t mind battle stuff. This book just didn’t settle on anything. It skipped and stepped over everything and was just really unsatisfying. It was like going to a really fancy restaurant, and they bring out those massive plates, but then the food is just those teensy portions with the swirly sauces and that’s your whole entrée. I wanted more but was ultimately left hungry.
BookMaggie More than 1 year ago
My first impressions of to the Waters and the Wilds mostly held up. From the beginning it starts out beautifully atmospheric. The opening dream sequence gives you a feeling of an old or timeless Scotland that is mirrored in the cover image. The writing is solid and it seems like it will be a great read for any historical fiction fans. Great characters are introduced and a viable love-interest is set up for romancing. That being said, there isn't much substance to it. The dialogue can be awkward, the characters can be obtuse, and overall the book is pretty predictable. If you're looking for a light read when you're lacking concentration and you're into historical romance this would be great.
LisaB95 More than 1 year ago
This is such a magical tale. I love the setting and would love to go there. If you like Celtic mythology, you will love this! I fell in love with Keelin and the other characters. I loved how the author made everything so mystical. When I first saw it I loved the cover then read the first look and was sucked in from the first page. It’s hard to find a book that does that right away. I’ll be looking for this author’s other works. I loved how the main character was female and very strong. Brian was also a great character. This would make the best movie or miniseries. I felt such an enchantment while reading and the author really knows how to take the reader to the place and time of the story.