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Daughters of Fire by Barbara Erskine

Barbara Erskine is an incredibly popular author and I fell upon this book while venturing into Bath when lockdown was easing. This story is about two women whose history blurs into each other across the centuries. First we meet Cartimandu, (a real life Celtic Queen who is mentioned in Roman writings of the time), and learn about her early life in the Brigantes tribe. Then the story switches to present day and Dr Viv Lloyd Rees. She is an academic who is writing a book about Cartimandu and suddenly is plagued by visons of Cartimandu which only get worse as she finds an ancient brooch that probably carries a curse.

The story moves between the two time frames very easily and soon Viv’s visions begin to make her feel she may be losing her mind or she is genuinely seeing the true story of Cartimandu as she raises to be Queen, deals with loss, love, revenge and finally the invasion of Britain by the Romans. The author writes the two time frames very well. Celtic Britain is told in a very atmospheric detail and in present day there is a real feeling of danger to Viv and her friends. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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