Those all important short reviews!
I've a few reviews to catch up on of books read this month, but here's the most recent novel that I've finished. Annca Chart was a Friday guest a week ago, and I was very taken by the sound of her novel Kenneth's Queen that I bought it and, I admit, bumped it up my kindle queue. I'm very glad that I did because it was a very fine 5* read.
Kenneth's Queen by Anna Chant
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel set in the era of Kenneth Mac Alpin (Cinaed). My knowledge of the time is vague but the story of Kenneth's Queen by Anna Chant -albeit in reality she is historically nameless - is a great read.
The settings are realistic and the story well crafted, written with ease and a deep familiarity with the subject matter. Since I'm fairly familiar with the present day geography involved it was easy to envisage it back in the Dark Ages, as eloquently described by the author.
Most characters are lovable, flaws and all, even at a time when violent reactions to raids on territory were commonplace and bloody. Cinead's brother, Domnall, is harder to read in terms of his intentions, but he should perhaps get his own story someday. I couldn't quite work out why his love life was not mentioned but maybe that's for another time.
I'd definitely recommend this to historical fiction readers but also to anyone interested in Scottish history because it gives a good sense of the conflicts involved between Scots /Gaels and the Picts.
I especially liked the passages about the fortress at Dunadd (near the west coast) where the binding ceremony 'of the king to the land' took place because I have recently visited it, and could easily see what the author was describing- particularly that footprint in the stone which my own foot hovered over.
I stood with my right foot poised over that empty foot-space before overbalancing, but I do remember thinking that someone ought to be writing about it, though not me for while because I was still mired deeply in the Roman era. That was Aug 2016, and I'm very glad to have found that Anna Chant has written about it!