Book Review: DAUGHTER OF BLACK LAKE brings family drama to the Iron Age

I listened to Daughter of Black Lake by Cathy Marie Buchanan recently and quite enjoyed it.

I was drawn to this story mostly by the setting, the concept of a fiction set in Iron Age Britain. Daughter of Black Lake is not a military story of Romans and druids and seething tribesmen, although these devices make their appearances throughout the story. Instead, this is essentially a family drama that switches point of view between a daughter and her mother as a girl, whose lives and those of the people of their village are intertwined across generations.

This POV switching feels unexpected at first, but you quickly settle into the differing viewpoints between Hobble and her mother, Devout, even though Devout is narrating a decade or more in the past.

They each tell their versions of events impacting their family, with Hobble able to “see” more than most people know. She is gifted as a seer.

The story follows them both as Devout comes to find love and choose her mate, and as Hobble learns the dangers that outside influences can have on her quiet village of bog-dwellers. This back-and-forth narrative is a really interesting way to see characters interact across generations, first as children and adolescents interacting with each other or their elders, and then as adults, trying their best to help their families and their village survive.

The setting is vivid with pre-Roman and pre-Christian rites, prayers, social structures, and behaviors that guide each character’s decisions. These traditions are then thrown into conflict with the encroachment of Roman soldiers into the region, whose very presence, though distant, hangs over the bog-dwellers as an ominous threat to their way of life.

Although I typically don’t get into village drama-style narratives, I enjoyed the story for what it was. The characters were well written and distinguished, and the story was compelling. Mostly, I just wanted to spend time in the boggy village of Black Lake. Buchanan’s description give just enough detail to paint a clear picture, and her world felt entirely accurate, even as an astute reader questions how much we really know about the traditions and beliefs of pre-Roman Britons.

I would definitely pick up another book by Buchanan set in the same era, regardless of the plot, just to be able to step back into this world.

Steve D

The Next Installment of the Promote Your Book Party!

Author Charles F. French is all about sharing the reading love. Visit his blog to post a comment about your recent book or publication.

charles french words reading and writing

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Hello to everyone! I want once again to offer an opportunity for all writers who follow this blog to share information on their books. It can be very difficult to generate publicity for our writing, so I thought this little effort might help. All books may be mentioned, and there is no restriction on genre. This includes poetry and non-fiction.

To participate, simply give your name, your book, information about it, and where to purchase it in the comments section. Then please be willing to reblog and/or tweet this post. The more people that see it, the more publicity we can generate for everyone’s books.

After you have posted, come back to see who else has put up information on their books.

Thank you for participating!

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Celebrate and promote your writing!

Shout it out to the world!

Let everyone know about your work!

Feel free to…

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The Warden of Everfeld: Memento. fantasy novel. Steven D'Adamo. Cover illustration.

Reblog Wednesday: The Warden of Everfeld: Memento, A Book Review

Austin L. Wiggins of https://writingsbyender.com was kind enough to post a review of The Warden of Everfeld: Memento on his site!

Go check it out, and his other book reviews, short fiction, thought pieces.

My favorite line from his review: “This book is deeply layered and impressively self-accurate.”

Thanks, Austin!

Reblog Wednesday: Ever thought about your legacy?

What if a doctor told you that you only had a few months left to live? When Randy Pausch, computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he decided to leave a powerful and timeless legacy. He delivered an inspiring last lecture at Carnegie Mellon (which was videotaped) and even wrote a […]

via Ever thought about your legacy? — Pint Size Fiction

Really great summary of a lecture given 10 years ago: “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”. Worth the read and the listen!

GUEST POST: Writing for Yourself vs Writing for an Editor, by Steven D’Adamo

Sci-fi author Luther M Siler let me write a guest post for his website, which is pretty awesome. Have a look-see and check out his books. I’d be happy to have a fraction of the following he does. (Maybe just a slightly bigger fraction than currently. )

Thank you Luther!

Welcome to infinitefreetime dot com

At least one guest post today and tomorrow, as brain melt starts to set in.  Steve’s good people.  Be nice.  


Bio: Steven D’Adamo is a writer based outside of Baltimore, MD. He co-founded Red String PaperCuts with a friend and fellow writer to discuss books, music, and poetry, and argue about life from their armchairs. His fantasy adventure novel, The Warden of Everfeld: Memento, will debut at the end of 2017. To catch a glimpse of his fantasy universe, check out the dark fantasy horror, “Wolf’s Moon Night,” published by Five on the Fifth. Aside from his website, you can find Steven on Facebook, Goodreads, and NaNoWriMo (dia820).

For Whom Do You Write? (Hint: it always changes!)

Most of us say that we only write for ourselves, that it doesn’t matter how the outside world perceives our stories because we poured our hearts…

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