Jacobite Vampires, biblical curses and mystical forest dwellers - you'd think there would eventually be a limit to Mr Meikle's verdant imagination, but once again we have a well-crafted, tense story, featuring interesting, complex characters you really hope will survive and foul beasties aplenty.
Set in turbulent times atop Hadrian's Wall - with Scotland left in the dark grip of the Others (oh, you'll hear a lot about these ancient bloodsuckers in the Trilogy), this first book sees lifelong friends Martin, son of the ruling Thane of Milecastle, and Sean battling ageless dark forces and paranoid prejudices in an effort to save Mary, the unfortunate chosen daughter of Campbell, who lands himself straight into the heart of the story from beyond the Wall and sets events in motion that will change everyone's lives forever. Rushing to avoid a dark ritual that will return the Boy King to power with an heir, our would-be heroes must overcome fear and suspend their disbelief to fight the coming Evil.
The cast also includes the sturdy Thane whose rule is being threatened, his trusty advisor and doctor Menzies, the lithe Green Man Lennan, the garrulous innkeeper Fitzsimmons and a host of brigands with an eye for a fight. And some hungry Wolves, Vampires and other assorted Undead....
Told with the usual flowing vigour, dark humour and eye for detail displayed in everything else of Mr Meikle's that I've read, there's more than enough ale quaffing and sword rattling herein to keep you suitably entertained, and also hungry for the next instalment in the Watchers Trilogy.