Tale of the Clans #1
Would God command a devout monk to wed a shepherdess?
Ireland 940 AD
Others think young shepherdess Mara fey. No one else in her Clan hears the voices or sees mysterious visitors. But she knows the messengers come from God. Mara commits to keep silent about them until one proclaims she will marry a man meant to bring Scriptural truth to their Clan.
Distraught by her hardships, Mara seeks aid from her childhood friend, Marcan mac Art, a scribe at Cill Dálua’s monastic community who spends his days laboring to create illuminated manuscripts. Yet, in their time of prayer together, the angelic being’s promise unfolds, revealing Marcan as her intended. Now she must somehow sway Marcan, a devout monk, that God predestined them to wed.
Through penance and devotion, Marcan hopes to blot out the burdens of the past and attain righteousness. Mara’s misguided beliefs cast new stumbling blocks in his path. He seeks escape by denying the vices of the flesh. Yet every attempt drives him further from those he loves—and from God. Will the endless trials drown his faith or render illumination?
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
M.N. Stroh's debut novel was a well-written, authentic, and fascinating trip to 10th century Ireland. Part romance, part historical adventure, part coming-of-age story this book has a little something that should pull in everyone.
Mara and Macan were great protagonists, although I found Macan a little more interesting because of the insights that his story gave into life an Early Medieval (look at me using specialist terms) Irish Monastery. There are also some pepperings of political events in the background of this story which might become more prominent in the next few books.
I'd recommend this to all lovers of historical fiction who want more than just another romance.
I received a complimentary copy of this title from the author. This did not influence my review and all opinions expressed are my own.