AISLING’S TALE Synopsis
An Irish princess raised unconventionally by her widowed father, Aisling of Clan O’Ceallaigh is serious and quiet, with a questioning spirit engendered by her mother’s early death. Ciaran MacDonnell, an outgoing young warrior, meets Aisling when she arrives at the household of Clan O’Carey, where four years of traditional fosterage are about to begin. Lorcan McKenna, a fearsome Irish chieftain who knows what he wants and has no compunction about doing anything necessary to obtain it, will irrevocably change both their lives.
Fifth Century Ireland is a rough jewel of a country, untouched by the now dying Roman Empire. Rumors and prophecies of a stranger bringing a foreign god have been circulating, fomenting fear and unrest among the people of this remote land. When a former slave named Patricius lands on the eastern coast of Ireland, it seems the prophecy has come true. His foreign god is as approachable as the pagan gods are not, and the druids see the nearing end of their reign. The royal tribal dynasty of the Ui Neil are moving southward, annexing tribes and clans, and significant battles are being fought in the land known to the ancient Romans as Hibernia.
You’re falling into a trap here of being both in the historical moment and describing it from the outside.
For example: “Fifth Century Ireland” supposes a Christian calendar. My guess is the Druids marked time differently. Yes, WE the readers know what Fifth Century is, and it’s important to know when this novel happens, but for consistency I’d say “1500 yeears ago” rather than marking time from the birth of Christ. Also, would someone in Ireland at that point refer to themselves as pagans? Probably not. The Romans aren’t ancient in 500 AD. They’re alive, kicking, ruled by an Emperor who’s converted to Christianity and might think of the Greeks and Eqyptians as ancient, not Rome.
Against the fierce beauty of the Irish countryside, in a time before towns existed and the family was all, Aisling and Ciaran fall in love. But when Lorcan McKenna’s eye falls on Aisling, she is abducted on the long-awaited day of her return home. Taken away from every known friend and protector, Aisling has only herself to rely on as she fights to escape the Irish chieftain who is determined to have her at any cost.
You’ve spent a lot of words telling us about the when, but very little giving us an idea of what actually happens, much less anything of substance about the characters. And how does that wily beast St. Patrick fit into all this?
The tale of her quest to outwit her merciless captor is the story of a girl who matures through adversity into the woman who will sacrifice her own life to save the two men she loves most.
This isn’t awful, it’s just not complete. It’s like a window onto a lovely view, but the window needs to be washed. Soap up!