Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Daughter of Black Lake” as Want to Read:
Daughter of Black Lake
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Daughter of Black Lake

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  649 ratings  ·  128 reviews
In a world of pagan traditions and deeply rooted love, a girl in jeopardy must save her family and community, in a transporting historical novel by nationally bestselling author Cathy Marie Buchanan.

It's the season of Fallow, in the era of iron. In a northern misty bog surrounded by woodlands and wheat fields, a settlement lies far beyond the reach of the Romans invading h
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 6th 2020 by Riverhead Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Daughter of Black Lake, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Daughter of Black Lake

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  649 ratings  ·  128 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Daughter of Black Lake
Miranda Reads
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it


New Month, New Tierlist BookTube Video is up - click the link to check out my August Reading Vlog!
The Written Review
A small ripple of what felt like hopefulness rose in her chest.
In this book, we follow Devout. She is coming of age in a harsh landscape.

Her world is narrow, and unforgiving. And despite all that, she's finding her place in this world.

And we also follow Hobble.

Hobble's timeline is set seventeen years later (she's the daughter of Devout and...she's hobbled. She limps as sh
Cathy Marie Buchanan
Aug 30, 2020 is currently reading it  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm not going to review my own novel, but here are some lovely words of support (and if you're sold you can pre-order Daughter of Black Lake):

“Buchanan has crafted an engrossing novel awash in historical atmosphere. From religious beliefs to culture clashes to social stratification and the activities of daily life, Buchanan immerses readers in Roman Britain in this beautifully emotive tale of family, community, and love.”—Booklist, STARRED review

“Buchanan captures in this immersive, supernatural
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have not read another book that fully concentrates on the community of "bog people" first century Brittania and I found it interesting and well imagined. The vivid portrayals of Druids as well as the Roman soldiers who could abruptly appear and interfere with their social organization was well done. The story gets confused often, going between a daughter and a mother, so it is not the easiest book to read and I did have to speed through some sections that seemed repetitive.

3.5 stars for me due
Jan 18, 2021 rated it liked it
Time period is 1 AD, location is a small settlement in northern Britannia where simple lives come alive with pagan traditions. The author does phenomenal job on transporting a reader to a different time period.

A girl named Hobble, named so as she walks with a limp, is thirteen. Her father is a blacksmith and her mother is a healer. Naturally, following in her mother’s footsteps, she is an apprentice healer. She was also born with a special gift of visions. And in one of her visions, she sees Rom
Beverley Cooper
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I managed to get my hands on an early copy as I had also really enjoyed this writer's two previous books. I couldn't put it down. The world that CMB creates is full of life and detail. It's a world I didn't know about - the time of the Druids. It's beautifully written, I loved the characters of Hobble and Devout. I loved the story they tell. You know when you look forward to finding that uninterrupted time to spend reading? That's what I felt with this one. ...more
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For me, signs of a good historical fiction
1)I can’t put the book down.
2)I learned something from the story. I want more which leads me to google the time period to do some of my own research.
Cathy Marie Buchanan accomplished these 2 requirements. She transports the reader back to an ancient, secluded community filled with pagan rituals, traditions and magically intersperses some fantasy into her tale.
The story meanders through the past and present lives of two women, mother and daughter. Both ve
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Eerily similar to the plight that we are facing today. . .

While this book was slow in the beginning, around midway it really picked up speed and I am so happy I stuck with it! The pacing was done in a very precise and thoughtful manner. Too much, too soon would have been all wrong for this novel. It was tightly wound and smart.
This book's time period is first century AD. I'm not used to reading books that take place so long ago, but it was certainly enlightening. The story follows a girl named
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fascinating read! I am a huge CMB fan and an avid reader of historical fiction. Full disclosure-I've never read anything about this period-Druids, bog dwellers, Romans were really not on my radar nor were they of great interest to me. Then I read this book and that all changed. The author's descriptions of the bog dwellers, their rituals and their relationships were so vivid, so real. I read the book in 24 hours and was totally immersed in this strange world. I can't imagine the amount of ...more
Grazyna Krupa
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So enjoyed! It's the kind of book that you read and then feel a little smarter, perhaps more enlightened or better informed post read. The world of the layered, resilient and like us, sigh, deeply flawed people of the Bog, resonates today. It is magnificently researched but you don't read the research - you live the tale and enjoy the journey. Smart psychological twists and insights as well, all of it pulled together in a book about yearning, power, lust (great passages) and the complex journey ...more
The Lit Bitch
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 star

When this book first came up for review, I simply couldn’t pass it up. I have had The Painted Girls on my TBR since it came out in 2013 so when I saw that this book was by the same author, I knew it was a no brainer….I simply had to read this book!

I love historical fiction and it’s always so hard for me to pass on a historical fiction book because I always enjoy them so much. But sometimes with any genre, it can start to feel stale. Over the years, I have started taking systematic break
Nov 29, 2020 added it
Shelves: lost-interest
Story seemed like it was going to be good but could not connect with the writing style so gave it up.
Nov 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Only recommended for the romance YA style prose lover. Characters were developed but too much switching of time periods ruined plotting and the historic. Most especially the Druids power collapse and the intermittent Roman invasions and settlements in Britannia.

There is much repetition. In tasks, in religious devotions, and in the emotive. Also in the kinship or other character context description in their various houses. For that reservation alone my enjoyment level became at the most 2 stars.
Robyn Gosney
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book.
I fully recommend Daughter of the Lake by Cathy Marie Buchanan. I could not put it down and then, I intentionally slowed down because I did not want it to end. I was drawn into an evocative world I knew so little about and yet it resonated with the world we live in now. I was captivated by the characters and the suspense was gripping. It was the time of the Roman Empire but the focus was on a secluded community whose attachment to one another and to nature completely hooked me.
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is, for the most part, a quiet story that crafts, in great detail, life in pre-Roman/gradually-Romanizing Britain. Buchanan focuses on one village on the outskirts of famous rebellions, a place where life moves at the pace of the seasons. We experience it through the eyes of two women, mother and daughter, as each moves through the at the cusp of girlhood into womanhood. Their unassuming village (in what is now northern Wales, as best I can figure) becomes the unlikely focal point of a tug- ...more
As a fan of The Painted Girls, I was excited to find Buchanan’s latest historical fiction novel on the bookshelf. Knowing that she would likely meld authentically historical research in a stylized version unique to her writing, I dove into early Britannia and the “bog people” with enthusiasm.

Buchanan infuses her tale of these early people with a sense of wonderment, living as they did in the most rudimentary and brutal conditions. As Celts, the Druids were their religious leaders, and the polyt
Pam Jenoff
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a unique and fascinating story of a young woman in Iron Age Britain who must use her unique gifts to save her family and community from famine and the outside world.
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-read, historical
Daughter of Black Lake is an immersive, atmospheric story, which is exactly what I was hoping for when I chose to read it. The story is set in the first century AD, during the time when the Romans invaded Britain, or Britannia. I love reading historical fiction stories set in very early times, but I can't say that I've ever read any stories from this exact time and this exact setting. The story is told from the perspectives the people of Britannia as they feared the day the Romans would come to ...more
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
In Iron Era Briton, the season of Fallow is upon the small community of Black Lake.  The small community works the land, hunts, forges iron, and lives off of the land; protected by and ruled over by their gods.  Sacrificing to them when rain does not stop or fields do not grow is part of their everyday life.  For Devout, Mother Earth is her provider.  Devout came of age that Fallow and is able to seek a mate.  With this comes a choice, mate with Arc, a fellow field hand or a tradesman, Young Smi ...more
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This mystical tale is woven like a tapestry with each strand hard to hold onto until it comes together with the other colors to create a full scene of village life under the druids and the change that hovers on the horizon under Roman rule. In the backdrop the struggle for power plays out just as it does in the foreground between the Smiths and Hunters where the power shifts from one to the other. Buchanan’s story unfolds in a deliberate way to immerse the reader in this ancient time when even w ...more
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Cathy Marie Buchanan releases yet another stunning novel! Daughter of Black Lake is set during the Roman Empire’s expansion into what is now known as the British Isles. Buchanan uses magical realism interwoven with historical facts and pagan traditions to paint a vivid picture of life in a Celtic tribe. You will fall in love with her beautifully developed and relatable characters as she draws you in and immerses you deeply into a gripping story of love, loss, and intrigue. Daughter of Black Lake ...more
Daughter of Black Lake is an atmospheric tale of two women in first century Brittania seeking meaning and companionship in their small, isolated settlement. The chapters alternate between the present-day and the past, following Hobble, a young prophetess who faces the menacing arrival of a devout druid named Fox to Black Lake, and her mother Devout as a teenager who must decide between two men she cares for.

Cathy Marie Buchanan's descriptions of the bog, the fields, and the lake were highly evo
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
I requested an ARC of Daughter of Black Lake because I loved the author's first novel, The Painted Girls. In other words, I went into reading Daughter of Black Lake with a lot of assumptions. The first part of my reading process was disappointing because for the most part I was letting go of those assumptions and embracing the book for what it is. Once I embraced the book for what it is, I found it a deeply engaging read: one of those "just one more chapter" books that leave once exhauted and bl ...more
BreeAnn (She Just Loves Books)
This book had a great mix of dark ambiance, detailed research, and wonderful characters! I was sucked in on page one, and I’m not exaggerating.

This is a historical fiction with some fantasy elements. I loved that one of the main characters has visions of the future, but is physically flawed. She is considered of little value to her town because of her leg, and yet her visions are a secret that is so valuable.

The two main characters are Hobble and Devout, a mother and daughter. I was connected to
Abigail Singrey
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s rare that I read a historical novel in one evening. But this book is deftly plotted, and kept me turning the pages. It also swept me right into a world I knew little about.

This is a story of a family caught between two worlds: Roman and pagan. But it’s also a story of love: between Devout and the two men who love her, and the disabled child Devout gives birth to. But, in a world where disability can condemn you to death, Hobble has a special gift. She’s a seer, which brings dangers of its
Amy Poirier
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm a total geek for this historical period! Daughter of Black Lake takes place during the First Century A.D.; the time of Roman invasion and occupation in Britain. What I love about this book, though, is that it's told from the point of view of bog dwellers instead of a Roman.

The title may be dark and the times tumultuous, but my takeaway was a message of hope, love, and community before ambition. There was an optimism about new Roman advancements. This was a time to question Druid leadership
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Maybe one of my favourite books all year - I’m even taking a few days off before starting my next book, as I think everything else is bound to disappoint, compared to this gem.
Oct 03, 2020 rated it liked it
This was fine, but not particularly memorable or special for me. Daughter of Black Lake follows a mother and daughter, Devout and Hobble, living as “bog dwellers” (Celtics) in Britain around the time of the Roman invasion of the island. Weaving their two narratives with alternating timelines, we learn more of Devout’s secretive past and Hobble’s prophetic abilities, which become particularly dangerous when a power-hungry druid begins using their small, isolated community as an outpost for rebell ...more
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cathy Marie Buchanan’s two previous books, The Day the Falls Stood Still and The Painted Girls, are two of my favourites so requesting an early copy of her new book on Edelweiss was a no-brainer! I knew she was an excellent author, but with Daughter of Black Lake, she proves that she is a stunning storyteller, as well. I haven’t been able to get this book out of my head. I want more of the characters, more of the immersive descriptions of the Black Lake settlement and surrounding areas, more of ...more
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate to receive an early copy of this new novel by Cathy Marie Buchanan. I am a fan of her other books, and looked forward to her next!
This story takes place in first century AD, a period in history that I had never read. It is the story of Devout and her daughter, Hobble who take turns telling us about life in their small village, during difficult times and an uneasy future that is unfolding. The reader will look forward to learning more about Hobble’s gift and how she fits within h
Oct 13, 2020 rated it liked it
3,5 stars

Even though I appreciated the unique setting and time period of the novel and the writing was quite lovely, the plot let me down around the middle. Plus the two perspectives became too repetitive for my taste, and the ending could've been better as well.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Girl with the Louding Voice
  • Valentine
  • The Museum of Forgotten Memories
  • Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes
  • The Last Passenger (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #0.3)
  • The Vanishing Half
  • Hollywood Park
  • Craigslist Confessional: A Collection of Secrets from Anonymous Strangers
  • A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life
  • Who I Was with Her
  • A Good Marriage
  • Big Summer
  • Pretty Things
  • Beach Read
  • Punching the Air
  • The Sun Sister (The Seven Sisters, #6)
  • The Winemaker's Wife
  • The Falling Woman
See similar books…
New York Times bestseller and book club favourite Cathy Marie Buchanan is the author of three novels.

Her most recent, Daughter of Black Lake, was chosen as a Best Fiction for Fall by Entertainment Weekly and Parade magazine. Her previous novel, The Painted Girls, was a New York Times bestseller, a #1 national bestseller in Canada, and was named a best book of the year by NPR, Good Housekeeping and

Related Articles

As this strange summer of staying put winds down, one thing remains truer than ever: Books offer us endless adventure and new horizons to...
57 likes · 30 comments