817393Not a read for the faint of heart.  Historical fiction, dense read, but wonderful nonetheless.  While billed as the story of the fabled warrior queen Boudiccia, this story actually goes father back and spans two generations.

We meet Boudiccia as a child visiting a neighbouring tribe where she meets the focus of the story, Caradoc ap Cunobelin.  Caradoc is the second eldest son of an ambitious chieftain who tried to conquer many neighboring tribes and finally settled down to profitable commerce with Rome.  But things go south when the old chieftain dies.  The oldest son, embittered by the lack of support to become the new chief, flees to Rome to spread dissent and poison in the ears of those powerful enough to get revenge for him.  The remaining two brothers split the clan and for the most pert ruled peaceably until the eldest brother returned with the full might of Rome and laid waste to the southern shores of Britannia that marked the beginning of the end for the native tribes.

What followed was years of battles, skirmishes, hit and run tactics, Rome slowly bleeding and the rebels of Britannia slowly reclaiming their lands, until impatience and betrayal brought everything crashing down.

Boudiccia doesn’t really come in until the end of the story, when Rome moves against her tribe, her daughters are raped and she herself is whipped after he husband passes.  Unfortunately nothing ends well for her or her people, as he and her small army is the last spate of resistance Rome encounters before it conquers the entire island.

Moving, beautiful, and thought provoking.  It may take time to get through but it is well worth it.

Next up once again is Mercy in Silver Borne.

6587387Being a mechanic is hard work. Mercy Thompson, for instance, just spent the last couple of months trying to evade the murderous queen of the local vampire seethe. And now the leader of the werewolf pack, who’s maybe-more-than-just-a-friend, has asked for her help. A book of fae secrets has come to light and they’re all about to find out how implacable – and dangerous – the fae can be.

OK, so maybe her troubles have nothing to do with the job. But she sure could use a holiday..