27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
An exciting new novel,
This review is from: Warrior Daughter (Paperback)As reviewed by Pam Norfolk in the Lancashire Evening Post:
An exciting new novel from Janet Paisley is not so much an adventure story as an enthralling lesson in Iron Age social history ...
Far removed from the precious sensibilities of 21st century Britain, this tale of a Celtic warrior princess presents a young woman's rite of passage in an age when life was a raw fight for survival.
Sentiment played little part in a child's life ... our heroine Skahaa, daughter of the Isle of Skye's warrior queen, is lucky to have been raised by her birth mother ; most children were placed into the hands of selected foster mothers.
When 11-year-old Skahaa's mother dies in a chariot race, she must witness her gruesome `disposal' into the afterlife - an ancient ritual in which her body is devoured by carrion eagles in a feeding frenzy at High Sun.
But Skahaa's troubles are only just beginning; the new warrior queen Mara is hostile to the young girl and she is forced to forge a new life beyond the queen's reach.
With rumour, fear and danger sweeping the island, the fast maturing Skahaa cannot remain unmoved and must find the courage to confront her enemies in defence of her people.
The unfolding story of Skahaa is a unique and revealing account of a long forgotten world in which a daughter was `worth two boys, maybe more' and men spoke only when addressed by their women and were useful only for breeding purposes.
Skahaa's journey through life depends heavily on old certainties and rigidly observed ancient customs but there is also a touching recognition that their beliefs are not infallible.
`They are stories we use to explain the world, to help us understand ourselves. Every story has its own truth,' observes a wise druid priest.
Skahaa's world is basic and sometimes brutal but it still has those eternally human qualities that any young woman would recognise ... shared secrets with close friends, the banter, the giggles, the escapades with lusty young men.
Paisley's evocation of an ancient Celtic fiefdom is a marvellous marriage of imagination and scholarship ... a unique and inspiring story that goes far beyond the usual bounds of an historical novel.