Monday, 20 January 2020

Review: Agricola's Bane by Nancy Jardine

Agricola’s Bane by Nancy Jardine

A.D. 84 Northern Roman Britain 
Nith of Tarras helps Enya of Garrigill in the search for her kin, missing after the disastrous battle at Beinn na Ciche fought between the Caledonian warriors and the mighty Ancient Roman legions. Enya soon has a heartrending choice to make. Should she tread Vacomagi territory that’s swarming with Roman auxiliaries to find her brother? Or, should she head south in search of her cousin who has probably been enslaved by the Romans? 
The Commander of the Britannic Legions and Governor of Britannia – General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola – is determined to claim more barbarian territory for the Roman Empire, indeed plans to invade the whole island, but finds not all decisions are his to make. It increasingly seems that the goddess, Fortuna, does not favour him.
The adventures of the Garrigill clan continue...

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The fourth novel in the Celtic Fervour series is standalone, although I highly recommend the first three books to gain more insight into the Garrigill characters and back story.

The story picks up where we left off in Donning Double Cloaks as the focus switches over to the younger generation of the Garrigill Clan. It's AD84 and Beathan, son of Lorcan and Ruoridh, son of Gabrond are missing after the devastating battle at Beinn na Ciche between the Caledonians and the Roman legion. Therefore, aided by Nith of Tarras, Enya, the young warrior daughter of Gabrond sets out to find her kin and to gain valuable intelligence about Agricola's intentions.

While there's much focus on the adventure and fortunes of the young warriors, the author keeps us informed about Agricola, as he continues his ruthless campaign. After sevens summers as governor of Britannia, he's becoming weary of his time in Northern Britain, especially during the harsh winters in areas, he deems inhospitable barbarian territories.

As I've come to expect with a Nancy Jardine novel, the narrative is full to the brim with fascinating insights and historical details. While it takes me a while to fully remember the names of the characters and places, the writing style makes it eas
ier to absorb the rich facts skilfully wrapped around intriguing plot lines. Set against a timeline I knew very little about before picking up the first book in this series, I also appreciate how the author brings the characters to life, specifically, Enya and her confusing emotions. It's a time in her life where she's coming of age and has conflicting feelings; she has to choose to between what she believes is right for her family, rather than listen to her heart.

Overall, the ending is satisfying and the scene is set for book five. This series has hooked me in and I hope the next instalment is ready to read soon?

***review copy received courtesy of the publisher Ocelot Press*** 

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.
Giveaway to Win x1 signed paperback of Agricola’s Bane to one UK winner; X1 kindle copy worldwide
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  1. Once again, thank you for reading and reviewing. Your comments are much appreciated. I'm so pleased you're enjoying the saga. :-)

    1. I'm looking forward to the next book and thank you for stopping by my blog.

  2. Beta-readers are indeed extremely important in your process. They will catch mistakes even you or a proofreader didn’t catch, and give amazing tips on how to develop further your story. I used to get a few reviews and also promote my book. Hopping to be in the top 100 genre lists and see better sales this Christmas season…