This wonderfully written historical fantasy is set in Ireland and incorporates supernatural elements and old Irish Fae lore. The author has done an amazing job through her descriptive narrative with making her world come alive as the characters travel to and from different realms. I loved all the different characters but especially the main character, Clíodhna who’s husband is missing and who has three children. I felt she was relatable and I was engaged with her plight as she finds herself in the middle of growing quarrels with the new church. I read this happily as a standalone story but I feel that if read as part of the series I would have appreciated the storylines that crossover better.
Clíodhna encounters a stranger near her home in the woods and discovers a kindred spirit in him and he is able to teach her how to harness her own innate powers and talents. She also develops a friendship at the new church with one of the monks and they enjoy talking about, life, philosophy, and theology. Clíodhna feels that for once her life is to be savoured rather than being about just surviving. However, things soon change when a new church leader arrives and suddenly her relationship with the monk causes conflict as does that fact that her new teacher clashes with the church’s ideals. Clíodhna ends up having to choose between happiness and even her life, and her family as her rash decisions result in her having to change her own fate.
Clíodhna believes it may be better for everyone if she leaves and disappears into another world but it would mean leaving her children behind with a trusted friend and trusting them to the mercies of fate. Her other option is to use her powers and abilities and face the danger head on. This is a fairly fast paced story with an intriguing storyline and an active plot all of which had me hooked from start to finish. I felt completely immersed in the story and found it to be an enjoyable and engaging read. I am now keen to read the rest of the series starting at book one.