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The White Mare: The Da...
Jules Watson
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The White Mare: The Dalraida Trilogy, Book One (Dalriada Trilogy #1)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  1,283 ratings  ·  107 reviews
Spanning three centuries, the series recreates Celtic Britain at the time of the Roman invasion: a land of visions and dreams, bloodshed and brutal death.

It is AD 79 and Agricola, the ruthless governor of Roman Britain, is turning his attentions to the last unconquered territory in Britain--Alba, Scotland. Rhiann is a courageous and beautiful Scottish priestess scarred by
ebook, 480 pages
Published February 17th 2005 by The Overlook Press (first published March 1st 2004)
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It mostly sucked me in with the plot and then it let loose with the throbbing members and round white heaving bosoms. I stopped reading at the first hint of a pulsating penis, because if I wanted to read a romance novel, I would go read one. Not a romance novel masquerading as "historical fiction". And why can't they just say penis? Why is it always "member"?
Anita Baião

I was reluctant to read it at first because some of the reviews mentioned "throbbing members" and "heaving breasts" and that was really off-putting as it reminded me of those really cheap novels.

But, after realizing this was an historical novel and the author was an archaeologist I decided to give it a go.

And I'm glad I did. The story drawed me from the first page and I was delighted with the descriptions about the Scottish Iron Age strong holds and about the roman formations. The romance is so
This is a book set in Scotland at the time Agricola and the Romans had been charged with making Scotland part of the Roman empire.

Rhian is a priestess and Eremon is an Irish prince in exile since his uncle took up arms against him and chased him out of Ireland. Reaching Scotland, Eremon's goal is to gain renown and make allies and return to Ireland to claim his kingdom.

There is no mention of a seannad ever having elected Eremon, which makes this plot point problematic. In Ireland, sons did not a
More of a 4.5 for me. The storytelling was as good as it gets. Jules Watson is definitely on my top list of great authors who know what they're doing.

The White Mare had many things that I look for in a novel - well described setting, development in romance, and dialogue that touches the heart. There was a moment where I felt the story tug at my heart and that's a very rare occurrence. If such an occurrence happened in any book that I read, I would probably automatically place it in the 4-5 star
Jo Barton
Risi Reading Challenge 2013

Sometimes a book sits on your bookshelf and you keep on saying to yourself that you will get round to reading it one day. My lovely book friend, Elaine, always insisted that Eremon would give Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series a good run in the macho male stakes, well, I always doubted that bit, but I have to admit that Eremon does have a certain male arrogance that is rather appealing.

The story is set in the distant past, when the Roman invasion of Britain is well
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
The White Mare is a work of historical fiction, with dabs of fantasy and a strong dash of romance. The setting: first-century Scotland, as the Romans move to conquer lands traditionally held by the peoples we know as the Picts. Irish exile Eremon arrives just in time to be appointed war leader by a local tribe; their princess and priestess, Rhiann, is pressured into marriage with him despite her wishes (and from there, the story goes exactly where you think it does). It should be noted that this ...more
If you like historical fiction set in early Scotland...then you will love this book. If you like books like The Mists of Avalon then you will like this book.

I could say this book did leave me with little frustrations...the relationship between the two main characters is aggravating. It just seemed like they would not talk to each other and find out what the heck was wrong with one another. There are too many secrets and too many lies. They eventually grow to love one another, even though I think
I was disappointed in this book. I had read several reviews and most complained about the sexual scenes. I wasn't even bothered by those. What bothered me was the lack of depth in the characters. Rhiann isn't endearing and Eremon seems like all he does is think about himself and his penis. I realized that I was over halfway done through the book and nothing really had happened. The characters are only developed surface level and the book includes plenty of fluffy filling. I will not be reading a ...more
2.5 stars
The pace is slow in this book, but I didn't mind that. I found most of the scenes interesting enough to keep reading. The main two characters are likeable, but I think I prefer Eremon more so than Rhiann, who was a bit thick headed.
So... a couple of complaints... While the story is obviously made for adults, the writing seemed more suitable for a young adult book. I don't need an overly wordy book trying to show off with every word in the dictionary but, a little variation would go alo
Quite interesting. Always difficult with such a book, as historically it has to be a lot of guesswork, but read quite convincingly. Always found it interesting that the Romans made it as far north as to set up the Antonine Wall, and that they retreated to Hadrian's Wall and gave up on the north - not their usual way.
Liked the interplay between Eremon and Rhianna, although as another review says, you felt like skelping her at times. Interested to see how the author developes her story
I loved this book. The characters were well-developed, the atmosphere was convincing, and the story was compelling. A great read for fans of ancient history, early Celtic cultures, and all things Scottish. The romance was realistic and complemented the historical story line instead of overwhelming it. I read the successive two books; loved the second (it made me cry), liked the third (a good wrap-up to the political drama).
I tried reading this novel because I enjoy this genre in general, and I was looking forward to the historical aspect. But I found the characters fairly flat and the conflict cliched and I just couldn't keep reading.
Dawn Tiffin
From a historical point of view, I enjoyed it. However, the interaction between the two main characters was painful in the extreme. It reminded me of any number of manga titles, where the "star-crossed-yet-fated-lovers" were constantly attracted, yet repelled by pride, the past, etc. JUST THROW EACH OTHER DOWN AND HAVE AT IT, for gods sake. Ugh. It took a literal case of divine intervention to get those two on the green. And if I have to read one more title of a broken woman who gains her redemp ...more
I adore this book.
I stumbled upon it in an old bookstore hidden in the back shelves, the cover all ripped up. I opened a random page to judge the writing style and stood there reading for about 45 minutes. It now lives on my bookshelf, we'll loved and re-read over and over.
It's historically indulgent and the characters are so vivid that they become almost real to you. The second book though, I caution you to stay away. It brought me to tears so bad that I was a wreak for the rest of the day, I s
Hannah Whitaker
I found this book at goodwill, and thought it was about a horse.
Shows how close I pay attention to detail.
Best misunderstanding, ever, and a great deal for that matter.
I loved this book, really loved it. Jules Watson is a talented author. If you love historical fiction, you may find that the history of it leans a little more on the fiction side, but if you can realize that she's writing about a mostly undocumented era, then you'll realize how well she executes this story.
The detail and the i
Eirian Houpe
Immersive, Evocative and Gripping.

This was a book that made me homesick, not for a place, but for a state of being, and my faith. Though fictional, Watson's attention to detail in re-imagining ancient Celtic traditions and culture, the yearly rituals and passage of time create an excellent emotional pull to something deep and primal within the reader that really gets you attached to the characters and events in the story.

On the other side of that coin, it is very easy to become frustrated with R
Die Römer rücken gegen Alba und dann stirbt auch noch der König: Rihann, Prinzessin und Heilerin der Epidier, muss schnell verheiratet werden, denn nur ihr Schoss als Ban Cré kann den neuen König gebären. Zur gleichen Zahl muss der irische Prinz Eremon wegen Verrat mit einer handvoll Getreuen über die stürmische See nach Schottland fliehen. Das Schicksal führt ihm zu den Epidiern, die einen neuen Anführer brauchen und so wird er mit deren Prinzessin verheiratet. Doch Rihanns Vergangenheit übersc ...more

I'm not quite sure if this book deserves a four or a three. So I'll settle for 3.5.

The plot is a bit hard to explain but I'll try my best.

Set in 79 ad, Scotland, the book tells the story of native tribes that are trying to evade invasion from Rome. Having lost a king, the tribe must marry their royal priestess, Rhiann — who carries the blood of the king — to a foreign prince named Eremon. From there on, we embark on a journey filled with political strategies, war, love, traitors, druids, pri
Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
This book has some similarities to the Marillier books I have recently read as well as The Mists of Avalon, but takes place centuries earlier in 79 AD. Unfortunately, the writing is just not up to the quality of those incredible books
This story is compelling and I never was tempted to stop reading. But at times it was very tedious especially in the first half, and I found myself skimming. It also gave me a somber feeling and a sense of impending doom from the beginning that took away my enjoy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
While not as lyrical as Juliet Marillier, the first part of this trilogy is definitely Celtic, with the themes of fighting for one's home and freedom and fey magic. There is also the female Goddess thrown in with a little bit of the Da Vinci Code, though I think the Celtic meme can claim that one first. The characters are grounded and human even with all the magic, gods, and destinies.

Jules Watson, being an archaeologist, includes much of the culture without the speculation of fiction writers.
This book is 600 pages long. I trudged through to page 580, and could not read the last 20 pages. I disliked this book so much, I couldn't even finish it. It was slow and tedious. The characters were annoying and boring. I didn't care what happened to any of them. I am a fan of historical fiction and have read tons of great epic stories, but this one is simply terrible. It got many good reviews, so I held on waiting to get get the good part, but it never came. I'm really confused by the good rev ...more
3.75 stars.
I picked up this book primarily because it's set in historial Scotland. Then I read reviews either loving it (and comparing The White Mare to Outlander) or hating it (because of weird sex scenes). I find myself in the middle. I loved the historical content but found myself skimming much of the beginning because it was a bit too wordy. I really connected with Rhiann and Eremon but in NO WAY would I ever compare this to Outlander and Claire and Jamie (except for the historical scotland
Meredith Sutphin
Do you ever have the experience of disliking a book initially, pushing through, and being so glad that you stuck with it by the end? This was one of the first books that took me on that sort of journey as a reader. It's a romance built on subtlety and the inner development of the main character; my initial difficulties with it were that Rhiann is written to be harsh. However, as her story unfolds, I found myself understanding her and empathizing with her more and more -- I felt myself changed by ...more
It took me a while and about 70odd pages to get into this, but once I was I really enjoyed it. The story of what is now Scotland, Priestesses and Druids set amongst the ever growing threat of Roman invasion, I think Watson has created a hero in Eremon (a man from across the sea - Ireland)that people will love (I know one reader who certainly does!).

I've recently been reading (and watching) a fair bit centered around the Roman Empire and it was so nice to read about the same period of time but h
Nadine Jones
I'm so glad I gave this book another chance - it's so much better than my initial, brief peremptory perusal indicated. Very very similar in feel to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon series, and to Judith Marillier's books, especially the Bridei series. Any fan of those books will love this book (and, similarly, if you did not like those books, you probably won't care for this one).

At its core it is a basic romance: girl and boy meet, and forced together, refuse to admit they are attracted
Though I studied Roman history in graduate school, I was never a fan of British-Roman history. However, I read great reviews of Jules Watson and decided to give this historical fiction novel a try (since I love historical fiction!).

I'm so glad I did! Watson has a rare gift: Britannia came alive in these pages! The story quickly drew me in and I hated to stop reading. Rhiann is a great heroine, though a tad too stubborn at times, and I loved her story. The history of the northern British tribes a
Feb 29, 2012 Karen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Molly
I REALLY enjoyed this book!! Watson has the right number of characters to keep the story complicated and moving in multiple directions at one time (unlike George RR Martin who has too many freaking characters and plot lines in my opinion!). The heroine and hero are each flawed and hiding shameful secrets that they must overcome in order to succeed. The Priestesses of the the Great Mother and the druid priests fill the story with ancient rituals, mystery, and a spiritual connection to the earth. ...more
I really enjoyed this book. Rhiann and Eremon are well designed with natural flaws and strenght. Their relationship is beliveable and the away it has desenvolve is also natural. All the good characters are likeable but many without any depth. The antagonist characters are reasonable. I like how this book describe the celtic culture, the roman invasion and the people of that time. I look forward for the rest of the triology.
This was a really good book in it's own way. I couldn't put it down at some points. At first it was a slow read for me...not because it was boring, but because I wanted to read every word. The Scottish land and Irish/Scottish names...all took time to read and figure out who's who and where they are...etc.

There are some very strong characters in this book. I found myself many times wanting to shout into the book at some of the characters and other times wanting to hug them.

The writing is beautifu
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Goodreads Librari...: New edition 8 39 Jan 23, 2013 11:31AM  
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Jules Watson was born in Australia to English parents. She came to fiction via archaeology and public relations, working most recently as a freelance writer in England. She and her Scottish husband divide their time between the United Kingdom and Australia.
More about Jules Watson...

Other Books in the Series

Dalriada Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Dawn Stag (Dalriada Trilogy, #2)
  • Song of the North (Dalriada Trilogy, #3)
The Dawn Stag (Dalriada Trilogy, #2) The Swan Maiden Song of the North (Dalriada Trilogy, #3) The Raven Queen The Boar Stone: Book Three of the Dalriada Trilogy

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