Top positive review
18 of 18 people found this helpful
on 1 January 2011
First of all: it's so hard not to love this book. From the first moment, it sweeps you up in the telling, like a bard speaking a long-held tale by a cosy fireside. The characters come to life and before you know it, you're rooting for them, the pages almost turning by themselves as you're drawn into the world... of misty modern-day North Wales.
This is a contemporary tale, but with the echoes of history clearly felt as part and parcel of daily life. Ostensibly, it's a simple romance, as two people come together to fulfil promises from a thwarted past life, but that could describe any number of bad Harlequin novels -this is so much more.
Ryan is researching the stone circles of the Preseli Mountains, as a photographer working on a book with his old teacher. Sian is a local woman pulled home to the village by familial duty. Both are fated to meet, thus bringing to a conclusion a love that has yet to survive the centuries, with a vengeful spirit seeking to destroy them now as it has before.
The author builds her tale as one who clearly knows the community she is writing about - a small village with a well-realised cast of eccentrics, in the shadow of the stone circles and with the descriptive voice so strong you can practically hear the accents (and smell the air of a warm country pub!).
While the villains are a little too emphatically EVIL, in the manner of a fairytale complete with boos and hisses, this is remedied by the very much non-stereotypical nature of the protagonists and their friends. You cannot help but wish them well, sure that all will 'come right in the end', but with every cliffhanger there's still that doubt that keeps you up late reading on.
The spirit of Druidry is depicted beautifully - something that too many fiction authors fail to truly capture in words. The magic in this book is powerful as a thunderstorm, yet also as intrinsic and familiar as creativity in painting or even good home cooking!
A good part of me wishes that the book were longer. You want to find out more about some characters and what happens next with them, and the ending is far too abrupt, jumping from a great chase scene to a quick resolution. I can only hope this implies a sequel, as the community and mood of the tale easily holds more secrets yet to be told.