I sought out this book after seeing it listed as recommended reading on The Celtic Myth Podshow website. I was further surprised to find that it was free as an ebook. After reading it I can honestly say that this book was way beyond my expectations. I could not put this book down and when I did have to (for such things as food and sleep), I found myself thinking about the characters as though they were real. Even now, after having finished the book, I find myself reflecting upon the characters often. I miss them!
The characters are the strength of Radasky's book. She creates multidimensional, living breathing characters both in a modern setting, and through her meticulous research, in the Iron Age Scottish Pictish age. Radasky uses her knowledge of the period in time expertly, never over handed or lectured. Instead she uses just enough to create a vivid picture in the reader's mind. Radasky is able to bring to life the traditions, spirituality and politics of a culture that is mostly unknown to many of us, and she does so with care and respect. There is no overt fantasy and grandiose speculation that often happens with fictionalizing the Celtic or Pre-Celtic people.
I am an avid reader, but there are few books that really reach me as deeply as this book did. I admit that I was mostly interested in the story of Lovern and Jahna over that of Aine. But, I thought that Aine's story was written with such honesty and depth that her character felt just as real.
I highly recommend this book if you like historical fiction, are interested in archeology, Scottish history, things Celtic, romance and pre-Christian spirituality. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by this first novel by Arlene Radasky. Oh, and if your second toe is longer than your first, you may just find this book all the more interesting!
(review of free book)