My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The story of a Welsh princess Eleyne of Mar who was born in a burning hall and rescued from the flames. Like a phoenix she is touched by destiny from the ancient Gods and druids of of her home country to be the mother of a line of kings. She goes through four husbands, produces around 9 children and lives to an old age. Her character is akin to Eleanor of Aquitaine in that she is tough, but more spiritual and has premonitions of the future and past. Her lineage produces the Scottish Stuart dynasty (e.g. Mary Queen of Scots). William Wallace (aka Braveheart) appears in the background and Robert the Bruce make a cameo appearance.
This book dovetails nicely as a sequel to ‘Lady of Hay’ which was about Eleyne of Mar’s grandmother, Matilda de Braose who built Hay castle in Wales and was imprisoned in later life by King John at Corfe Castle and starved to death. This book is a prequel to ‘Kingdom of Shadows’ about Isobel Countess of Buchan who is the mistress of Robert the Bruce and crowns him. Isobel is the great granddaughter of Eleyne of Mar.