This is the second book in the historical fantasy fiction series by Signe Pike that follows the famed Merlin, the famed wizard counsel of King Arthur and his long forgotten sister, Languoreth. I love this series so incredibly much that it makes me want to go back and read as much Arthurian literature as I can get my hands on!
The story spans the years though you never feel like you’re lacking. The focus of this story is more on Languoreth’s daughter Angharad who has left home to study to be a wisdom keeper with her uncle, Lailoken (AKA Merilin). Each chapter bounced between the viewpoint of different main characters, though Languoreth’s is the only one that is told in the first person, because really it’s supposed to be her expansive, all-encompassing story, and boy what a story it is. This woman, who is now middle-aged and a mother of several children, has been through so much. I really liked her development in this story compared to the first one when she was younger. She is older, wiser, and more dedicated to her family and husband. She’s learned to love him through the years even though their marriage is not filled with passion, like she felt with her youthful love with Maelwgn. I love Angharad’s journey in becoming a wisdom keeper and all the trials she faces through the story. Her character has the biggest transformation of all of them. We also get to see the pagan festival of Samhain. You can tell a lot of research and dedication has gone into the accuracy of the story on the author’s part. There are so many wonderful glimpses into Scotland during the 500BC time period. It’s so far back that it’s almost impossible to imagine life then, but Signe Pike has done a wonderful job of bringing it to life.
There are very few times I read a series while it’s being published. I like to wait until they’re all out, or mostly out, and binge through them so I don’t forget what happened from book to book, but this is my exception. I cannot wait for the third book in this trilogy to come out! If you like history or fantasy, I highly recommend this series!