Remember the Celtic Fervour Series? You may remember that I wasn’t over the moon about the first book but I’ve grown a bit warmer to the second book. It might be because I experienced it as shorter than the first book or that I found it more interesting, the action certainly suited my reading interests better than the first one! The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads:
RAVAGED BY WAR …AD 71. After the battle at Whorl, Brennus of Garrigill is irrevocably changed. Returning to Marske, Ineda finds her grandmother dead, though Brennus is not. Snared by a Roman patrol, they are marched to Witton where he is forced to labour for the Roman IX Legion. Embracing his new identity as Bran, Brennus vows to avert Roman occupation of northernmost Brigantia. Ineda becomes his doughty spying accomplice, though sometimes she’s too impetuous. Trading with the Romans lends excellent opportunities for information gathering. Over time, Bran’s feelings for Ineda mar with his loyalty to Ineda’s father. When she disappears, and cannot be found, Bran enters direct service with Venutius, King of the Brigantes.
After Whorl: Bran Reborn brings back my favourite character from the first book, Brennus. Due to Jardine’s comment on my last post, I knew this book would focus on him but I thought it would be in a completely different manner since I, like most other people, assumed him to be dead after the battle of Whorl. What an exciting surprise! I had envisioned something along the line with Nara and Lorcan naming their son after him and then Brennus’ spirit would inhabit him or something like that. My fantasy knows how to entertain itself that’s for sure! However, I have to say I’m very glad it didn’t work out with Nara and Brennus because that makes room for Ineda, and what a woman she is! I could see quite a bit of myself in her since she’s always on the move or has an idea that might be thought halfway through when she puts it into motion. I’m guilty as charged on that one. I have no time to spare when I sense an idea that most likely will work (ignore that fact that it also may not!). She’s funny and she annoys Brennus to the point of an explosion which I found amusing on several occasions. Another thing I really appreciated with Ineda is that even though she lives in a time where women had certain tasks they were trained for and fulfilled, she goes out and does completely other tasks. I’ve discovered so many strong female characters lately and she is definitely one of them! Gotta enjoy that!
Storywise Bran Reborn is more interesting than the Beltane Choice for me. The reason for this is that there is more context in my opinion in this book than the first. I felt that the story was more connected even though in the beginning it was a bit hard to figure out where the story started out. And no, I didn’t read the synopsis because my Kindle doesn’t contain it but neither did I look it up on Goodreads so I deserve my own confusion, haha. I’ll do it for the next book though. I also felt that there were a great deal more Roman phrases in this book but they are all explained in Jardine’s neat glossary within the book so don’t worry about those. Writing-wise I feel like this book has a better flow than the first one. The story is easier to follow, which probably is due to the greater context like I mentioned above, and it probably helps that the reader brings the knowledge of the world the story takes place in into the second book. I’ve experienced that the first book in a series often is the book for getting to know the scenery, the vocabulary, and the like whereas when reading the second book thus makes it easier to focus on just the story and enjoy.
Another thing I also enjoy is how we get to view the Roman forces from the outside perspective. We all read about them in school but then we viewed them from a different angle. The way Jardine has managed to make the Roman so «foreign» to her readers is really amusing to witness. I think this is one of the things that really kept me engaged whilst reading this story. That, and that you, of course, get the feeling that you really want to root for team Brigante! Who wants those filthy Romans on their lands? We sure don’t want them! There are also some elements of from a spy novel here. It’s interesting how this game of spies have existed for such an amount of time. This element brings some extra excitement to the story and I was left constantly wondering how much knew the Brigantes compared to the Romans and the other way around.
If you’re curious about what happened after the Beltane Choice then I recommend you to read Bran Reborn! Most likely you’ll get your answer to a few questions and then you’ll have new ones. Did I mention that there are four books in this series? If you are a history lover, and a lover of romance, this book will still be up your alley! I’m looking forward to reading the next book and I hope that will bring some answers to the questions I’m now left with.
Nancy Jardine writes historical fiction; time-travel historical adventure; contemporary mystery thrillers; and romantic comedy. She lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where life is never quiet or boring since she regularly child minds her young grandchildren who happen to be her next-door neighbours. Her garden is often creatively managed by them, though she does all the work! Her husband is a fantastic purveyor of coffee and tea…excellent food and wine! (Restorative, of course) A member of the Historical Novel Society; Scottish Association of Writers; Federation of Writers Scotland; Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Independent Alliance of Authors, her work has achieved finalist status in UK competitions.
Social Media Links
Amazon Author page: http://viewauthor.at/mybooksandnewspagehere
Genre: Historical Romance
Theme: Invasion, family, war, friends
– The Book Reader