Series: Daughters of Avalon #1
Published by Oliver-Heber Books on 2018-06-26
Length: 333 pages
It has been five years since King Stephen took the English throne. The border lands are fraught with tensions. Loyalties are uncertain. Only the strong will hold their lands, and behind every strong man is an even stronger woman.
The eldest of five daughters born to King Henry's mistress, Elspeth fears she and her sisters will be used as pawns in the wars to come. When her sisters are wrenched from the Blak Montayne Priory that has sheltered them since Henry's death, Elspeth alone escapes, only to find herself indebted to, of all men, a Scotsman, whose loyalties are in question…
Left to face the wrath of a new sovereign, Malcolm MacKinnon has sworn his fealty to Stephen of Blois in order to keep the demesne he won by slaying his grandfather. In doing so, he has pit himself against Scotland, and even his own father. Even as he realizes there is no turning back, his bartered bride may offer him a chance to atone. But will giving in to his passion bring nations to war?
I’ve been listening to so many books lately! And all of them heavy with emotion! I need to review SOMETHING even if it’s just to sort out my feelings about all these romances and suspense I’ve put myself through in the last week! (Also, you’re welcome for the perfect gif.)
Elspeth Pendragon is the bastard daughter of King Henry I and his mistress Morwen, and is sequestered with all 4 of her sisters in the priory of Llanthony (which is a real, historical place).
She and her sisters are possessed of “the craft”, according to Welsh druid legend, it makes her a ddewines, or enchantress. Morwen, her mother, is pure evil, and will use her daughters to leverage power for herself. Elspeth, being the oldest, will be the first to be wed off to a strange man for her mother’s benefit. Between her and her sisters, they decide she should try to escape. Upon her attempt at escape, she meets her champion.
Malcolm MacKinnon is the king’s man, doing Stephen of Blois’ dark bidding in Wales. He has turned his back on his Scottish brethren, and even his Laird father (Iain MacKinnon, from the Highland Brides series – please drop what you’re doing and go read his story in The MacKinnon’s Bride, where you’ll meet a very young Malcolm). With his beloved horse, Merry Bells (another easter egg from Highland Brides), he is heading towards the highlands to visit his father, of whom he has received word is very ill. While guiding his horse through the Welsh countryside, Merry Bells is nearly stolen from underneath him by what he thinks is a small stable boy from the local priory. Upon further inspection, he realizes this misleading “boy” is actually a beguiling, copper-haired woman. She’s not exactly forthcoming with who she is, or how she managed to charm his horse so easily.
Will Malcolm agree to be her champion? Will they escape Morwen? Will honor give way to passion? What will Malcolm do when he finds out his “companion” is a witch? Will Elspeth be able to save her sisters before Morwen has all too much power to be defeated? So many questions, and we all need answers!
I have loved Tanya Anne Crosby’s books for a very long time. I’ve been reading her for years, and she’s come out with this new series. One of the most beautiful things about sticking with an author through their careers is seeing their evolution. She has always had a knack for character, steamy romance, history, and the best meet-cutes. This series showcases her affinity for writing mystery, suspense, and thrills! In all her works, I have never been more terrified of a villain. This series’ villain is, for some reason, absolutely horrifying. I mean, she has ravens that communicate with her through the entire kingdom. If that isn’t just flagrant and creepy augury I don’t know what is. I cannot wait to get to the conclusion of this series! #witchywoman