A year after her husband’s sudden death, ceramic artist Tilda Fordwells finally moves into the secluded Welsh cottage that was to be their new home. She hopes that the tranquil surroundings will help ease her grief, and lessen her disturbing visions of Mat’s death. Instead, the lake in the valley below her cottage seems to spark something dormant in her – a sensitivity, and a power of some sort. Animals are drawn to her, electricity shorts out when she’s near, and strangest of all, she sees a new vision; a boatful of ancient people approaching her across the water.
On this same lake in Celtic times lived Seren, a witch and shaman. She was respected but feared, kept separate from the community for her strange looks. When a vision came to her of the Prince amid a nest of vipers she warned of betrayal from one of his own. Prince Brynach both loved and revered her, but could not believe someone close to him wished him harm, even as the danger grew.
In her own time, Tilda’s grief begins to fade beside her newfound powers and a fresh love. When she explores the lake’s ancient magic and her own she discovers Seren, the woman in her vision of the boat. Their two lives strangely mirror each others, suggesting a strong connection between the women. As Tilda comes under threat from a dark power, one reminiscent of Seren’s prophecy, she must rely on Seren and ancient magic if death and disaster are not to shatter her life once more.
I received a free copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book was everything I wanted from it and more. It had history explained in an interesting not boring way yet still feeling fully explained for the story purposes. The history kept me hooked, I liked learning with the characters, snippets of information were released like little nuggets of gold, each more adding a little more sense to the story until you have a full golden wonder.
I sometimes struggle with adult paranormal books in our world where the main character has no previous interaction with the paranormal element since most adults would freak if something like that really happens and characters often accept it too readily for my liking. But Tilda and the characters handled it just well enough for me cope, they freaked out a little, but dealt with the issues like adults and tried to put logic to it.
The setting was beautiful, a secluded lake in Wales, it sounded almost mystical. The contrast between the present and the past, it made the setting even more realistic. There is something so serene about a small lake with cottages round about, just makes the setting so idyllic.
The parts about making pots and archeology were really interesting. I loved how it was woven in to the story, not just to fill out the story a little but as integral plot points.
The main thing I didn’t like was how sometimes Tilda would suddenly know a fact or a name that I had no recollection of her finding out, especially where there was no possible way for her to have done so, happened a few times, which did get on my nerves a little.
But with only really one fairly small issue with this book, I think it was a beautifully crafted masterpiece that I recommend anyone who likes historical fiction try.
4 out of 5 stars
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