Wednesday 5 September 2018

The Blood and The Barley by Angela Macrae Shanks

The Blood and The Barley


Chill with a Book READERS’ Award

A Captivating Historical Saga. Deeply Moving and Richly Detailed.

The North-Eastern Highlands, 1780. The Jacobite cause is lost, and life in the high glens is now harder than ever. To prevent another uprising, the British Government seeks to destroy the entire Highland way of life. Yet in Strathavon, glen folk fight on in their own unique way. To maintain a foothold on the land - a land not theirs by right of deed or paper but held precious in their hearts - the people must be wily. Must risk their lives. And whisky smuggling is the way.

Morven MacRae is the daughter of a notorious smuggler, and also a smuggler herself. Yet her greatest wish is to be a healer like her neighbour Rowena. Only Rowena has troubles of her own. Branded a witch, she's a struggling widow, desperate to avoid eviction, and a ruthless exciseman has her in his sights. A jealous man she once jilted, with a dark past and a stranglehold on the glen. When Rowena's young kinsman Jamie Innes returns to the glen of his birth and saves Morven's life, despite herself, Morven finds herself intrigued by him. He's a man driven by honour and an abiding loyalty ... or so it seems. And by a desire to belong. But when it becomes plain there's a traitor in the glen, Jamie's true motives are less clear. Can she trust him? For this is a mystical land of lore and superstition. A place where loyalties are tested and secrets kept close ...

If you are drawn to magical storytelling, vivid characters and unique historical detail, then you will love The Blood And The Barley. A fascinating tale of a lost way of life and a sensitive love story. Perfect for fans of the Poldark novels of Winston Graham and the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.

Ranked A Discovered Diamond and winner of Book of the Month for July 2018 by #DDRevs.

".. .the author's description of the Highlands is so evocative one can almost feel the texture of the heather. MacRae conjures a mystical land of crags and burns, where belief in the old ways still hold and are made plausible by its isolation from what Wordsworth described as the 'getting and spending' of everyday life. This is a well-told tale, and I'd love it to become a saga along Poldark lines. Morven has the makings of an excellent Demelza. The community of the glen, their whisky stills and smuggling born out of necessity make for a convincing backdrop and I look forward to reading more about Strathavon. I recommend The Blood And The Barley to anyone who enjoys family sagas. - J.G. Harlond, historical fiction award-winning author.

Genre:  Historical Romance / Scottish 
Approx pages:  296

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