This book is such a great cozy read for Fall - set in 1AD (!) Iron Range Britannia, I can't say I have ever read a book set during that period, you are truly transported to ancient pagan times. You see life in the village through the eyes of a mother and daughter as they see the tides change from ancient pagan traditions into that life being upended by the invading Romans. The mother and daughter are healers, and the daughter has visions of the romans impending invasion. We go back in time and learn about how her mother fell in love with her father and learn how relationships change through time.
It is a slower read but if you have a rainy afternoon it is a lovely way to fully transport yourself to truly another time.
Set in Roman Britain, Hobble and her family are bog dwellers, living in a remote settlement. Called Hobble because she was born with a lame leg, Hobble has prophetic visions that are sometimes disturbing. Life revolves around the change of seasons and respecting the natural order. When a Druid priest named Fox comes to their village and orders them to join a rebellion against the Roman occupiers, their family, their community, and their way of life is threatened.
Historical fiction with elements of magical realism. The historical aspects and the story were both interesting up until the last couple of chapters, when Hobble's mother reveals her "mystical" pregnancy - then it starts to get a little silly. Well-researched and good writing, just the ending left something to be desired.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an eARC for review.
I really enjoyed "Daughter of Black Lake." I liked that it was set in the Iron Age in Britain during Roman occupation as I greatly enjoy historical fiction. I would recommend this book to other readers that enjoy historical fiction.
I started reading this book and found that it was not for me. It didn't seem fair for me to review a book that I didn't finish.
This was a really interesting read. I enjoyed the historical setting. It is not a historical time period that I had read much in, so this was a intriguing read.
At first, I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book. I'm not usually one for historical fiction set during Roman times but this was a very well written book. Some of it was a little confusing due to the mystical aspects but overall a good read.
I loved this book. It’s haunting, atmospheric, interesting characters, and dual timelines. What more could you ask for in a book?
Thank you to the Publisher and Netgalley for the advanced e-reader copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
I found this book to be monotonous. The story was slow and the characters did not seem realistic to me. I am able to suspend belief but this book was just not what I was hoping for.
I really loved the take on pagan traditions. A very unique interpretation. Will definitely be recommending to others!
Book was good. Very strong depiction of the time period and clearly well-researched. the storyline was thought provoking and unusal.
Daughter of Black Lake is a very nice piece of historical fiction with a little bit of magical realism. It's set in first century AD Britain, against the backdrop of the invading Roman empire. It's a time period I'm not very familiar with, and I was definitely taking breaks to look up Roman cities (other than Londinium, I know that one) to get an idea of the geography. The POV switches from Devout to her daughter Hobble frequently throughout the novel. While clearly labeled, it can be a bit disconcerting, and I found myself at times struggling with the shift, and this was in a sustained reading session without interruptions. Overall, I found this to be a well-written historical escape with good characterizations and captivating setting.
This review originally posted at Books You Can Die in the Middle Of: https://lookgoodifyoudie.blogspot.com/2021/01/daughter-of-black-lake-by-cathy-marie.html Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group Riverhead for the ARC.
Fascinating and totally unexpected. This is not a story you have read before about a time so very different from our own and yet there are strong parallels. Amazing research!
Atmospheric, haunting, excellent writing, superb characterization, all of these things describe "Daughter of Black Lake". A great period piece that isn't written about much, so it was a welcome break and I dived right into it (pun intended). Loved it and will be reading all of this author's works!
There seems to be an abundance of ancient Roman novels so I was pleased that this one was a new way to explore Roman rule by the lesser told story of ancient Britannia.
Britain, first century AD. Hobble lives in a secluded community. Years ago, her grandfather and uncles went off to battle the invading Romans, and they never returned. So when a druid priest arrives stirring up ideas of rebellion, Hobble’s family lives in fear. Hobble was born with a disability, making her the most likely to be sacrificed for the gods’ favor. But she possesses a rare gift, the ability to see visions. When she foresees the slaughter of their people, the priest becomes even more zealous in his call to arms and accuses Hobble of deceit. Additionally, Hobble’s mother hides a secret, one that could shatter their family more swiftly than any Roman sword.
The age of the druids comes alive as told through the eyes of a mother, named Devout, and her daughter, Hobble. The narratives poignantly recount how each woman’s generation has been affected by Roman rule. Perception heavily influences character choices. Named for her limp from a birth deformity, Hobble is never ashamed of who she is but instead finds ways to prove herself capable, including in the healing arts. While there are horrible stories of what Romans have done enslaving their people, the actions of a few are not the sole narrative. Romans bring with them sturdy roads, new business, stone construction, and written language. The old ways would sacrifice Hobble for being a runt, causing her family to re-evaluate what the druids fight to preserve. Impactful themes about the power of change enrich the novel.
At times, the non-linear writing style gets confusing. Flashbacks occur in the midst of active conversations before circling back in the following section. However, the characters and their community truly shine. This is a story of a culture finding ways to preserve what’s most important while facing an uncertain future. Recommended.
Hobble is the daughter of a blacksmith and a field worker in the remote village of Black Lake during the occupation of Britain by Rome under Emperor Claudius. When a druid comes to town to foment rebellion, Hobble's life changes forever.
"Daughter of Black Lake" is a fun exploration of early Roman Britain from the inside of a small tribal community. The novel manages to advance a storyline about Hobble's questioned gift of prophecy while providing many slice of life style scenes about life in the village. Readers experience what the tribe members eat, how they work, how they worship, and how they communicate with each other as they learn concurrently about not only Hobble's life but also about the life of her mother, Devout. This is a fun read for anyone with an interest in history who doesn't mind a bit of the fantastic thrown in.
This beautifully written book shows that it doesn’t matter where or when a story is set; themes of love, family and survival are universal.
Mother and daughter Devout and Hobble, embrace the ways of Mother Earth.....each using their special gifts to help their poor community and eke out a meager living through hard work and perseverance. Devout has the gift of healing that has helped her overcome tragedy and devote herself to her neighbors and piety. Daughter Hobble has the gift of sight, which becomes a threat when a zealous druid preacher set on rebellion arrives in the village and upsets the fragile balance of the community. Tense and suspenseful.
This book had a great mix of dark ambiance, detailed research, and wonderful characters! I was sucked in on page one, and I’m not exaggerating.
This is a historical fiction with some fantasy elements. I loved that one of the main characters has visions of the future, but is physically flawed. She is considered of little value to her town because of her leg, and yet her visions are a secret that is so valuable.
The two main characters are Hobble and Devout, a mother and daughter. I was connected to both of them- and enjoyed their individual struggles. The community’s thoughts and actions are set in such a long-ago time, and yet there were many aspects that resonated with today’s world.
The world-building was fabulous. I felt like the descriptions created this rich setting for the characters to live in. I haven’t read a book about Druids before, and I found it so interesting. It was filled with details that gave such an in-depth understanding of the period. It felt real, and I loved it!
Overall, I was deeply invested in this book. The characters were wonderful, the setting was created beautifully, and the story was perfect! This is one to add to your TBR!
To Read or Not To Read:
I would recommend Daughter of Black Lake for readers that enjoy learning about a new time in history as well as a bit of a magical element.
I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.
Being transported back to the time 0f the Druids and Bog People when England was being invaded by the Romans was enlightening and interesting--actually, quite fascinating! The struggles of life, no matter the time period or the people, are all the same: shelter, food, clothing, love, safety, happiness, friendship. The novel is smoothly written and well researched with characters that are easy to relate to. I especially liked the names the author gave to the seasons and to the people inhabiting the pages of this book.
Thanks to NetGalley and Riverhead Books for the ARC to read and review.