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The White Mare

(Dalriada Trilogy #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,887 ratings  ·  144 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 princess and prieste
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Paperback, 480 pages
Published March 7th 2006 by Harry N. Abrams (first published March 1st 2004)
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Samantha L. Groom There is some sexual content and rape, and description of human anatomy as it relates to sex and sexual attraction, so it may be a little mature for…moreThere is some sexual content and rape, and description of human anatomy as it relates to sex and sexual attraction, so it may be a little mature for her, but only at certain points. The author does not exploit the sexual content of her story at all, though. However, I don't think there's anything she wouldn't have already been exposed to via prime time TV or any movie with a PG rating.

That being said, probably best to wait a couple of more years till you are both more comfortable with that sort of content. Because the rest of the story is absolutely amazing, and the sex really isn't a big component.

Just my two cents. (less)

Community Reviews

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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,887 ratings  ·  144 reviews


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Laura
Jul 25, 2007 rated it did not like it
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
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing


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
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Jo Barton
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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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
Courtney
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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Lisa
Apr 20, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
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
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Jenny
Dec 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Alaina
Oh how I wanted to love this book. The comparisons with Juliet Marillier are understandable and yet laughable. Every part left me almost satisfied. The writing is part lyrical poetry, part soap opera bodice ripper. The plot sucks you in with its pain and drama and then spits you out with its never ending love affairs and multitudinous villains. I would have given this book 2 stars if not for the character development and internal dialogue of the MC, which was heartbreaking and kept me up all nig ...more
Lisa
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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Deborah Pickstone
It started well and I thought I was onto a winner....as the cover said, it was an ambitious novel to write as a first. I allowed a little extra latitude for suspension of disbelief etc and ploughed on. Then somewhere around p200 I realised that the author had clearly read The Eagle and the Raven and lifted a main plot from it but with different characters. I also began to realise that the dialogue had become wooden and the characters were not developing.

It had promised so much (not least, to me,
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Margareth8537
May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
ChristinaRae
Sep 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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).
Lucy Pollard-Gott
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Strong writing in this historical romance set in Roman Britain, and focused on the attempt to ally tribes of Erin (Ireland) and Alba (Scotland) to stop the advance of Roman rule. Good enough that I will read the sequel, The Dawn Stag.
Leila
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is the first of a trilogy and is over 600 pages. Set in Roman/Celtic Britain, Alba and Scotland in AD 79 it is an absorbing story with Rhiann - a brave and beautiful princess and priestess and Eremon - an Irish prince as the central characters in a story of war, the quest for freedom of the heart, spirit and body and love too. Highly recommended.
Laura
Aug 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
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.
Emmeline (The Book Herald)
Easily the best and most breathtaking historical fiction and romance that I've ever read.
Brittney Tyler
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!!!!!!!!
Star Rating: 5 stars

If you have been following my reviews, you will have heard about my fascination with all things Dark Age Europe, although I prefer Dark Age England. (if that is not the term it is traditionally called, then I am sorry. I hope to start calling things by the right term as I progress through my history degree.) Anyway, I like anything that is set in the time-span of the official Roman withdrawal from the British Isles to the Norman Conquest, although I will read pretty much anyt
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Emely
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
After making it to page 47 I was completely -and literally- exhausted by the authors writing style. I liked the opening scene of the birth, I like the general setting in Celtic Alba. But: Not only does Jules Watson go on and on with describing landscapes, weather, locations, etc. she also used so many -too many-unique/new/unusual adjectives, adverbs, verbs, nouns, etc that it becomes complete overload, and also very confusing. I feel like Watson spends too much time and ink with descriptions tha ...more
Samantha L. Groom
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love a book that makes you wonder about its characters in your spare, non-reading time. I love when a book makes you fall in love with them as they fall in love with each other. The development of characters here is smooth and consistent, not rushed or forced. The story arch also follows a natural flow and doesn't feel forced. There seems to be a place for everything and everything in its place, a perfect mix of history and magic that doesn't feel competitive.

I look forward to reading the nex
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Booksare4ever
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2019
Wow! What a wonderful historical book. The story of Eremon and Rhiann, the story of old Scotland/Great Britain. I have been interested in the Kingdom of Dalriada and this book was just awesome for me. Reviews are hard for me to write, but if you like historical fiction and you're interested in old Kingdoms and the old ways of life, this is really the book for YOU! I was having problems getting on with the things I have to do daily, the story sucked me in so much! I have to take a little break be ...more
Manal
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Now that was poetry. A beautiful book with lots of historical information about a region and period of human history...about the Roman invasion to Scotland.
What I love about old religions...what we call paganism...is the strong relation to earth..may be if we instill some of this faith in our lives we can be kinder to her.
Sam W
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Good book, but no very memorable. I read it and liked it, then it sat on the shelf for a few months. Wen't looking for a book to read and thought I had never read it until a 1/4 way in.
So overall a good book, just maybe not one of my favorites since I completely forgot ever reading it.
Erin
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmmmm...this is more a 3.5. A bit slow to start...but half way through , and I have grown an attachment to the main players. No ewwwy fromage romance to spoil it. Looking forward to the second book!
Sherry Partington
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Looking forward to reading more of this.
Leslie Ross
It was too simplistic.
Katie
Fun and interesting
Fiona Andrew
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fabulous look at a historical time when life was very different. Told in a way you believe the characters are almost real and their struggles surmountable. Highly recommend.
Gabrielle O'connell
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lost count of the times I've read this beautiful book!
Megan
It was ok. From reading the historical note, the author plainly did her research, but the fantasy and romance aspects clouded that.
Danyel
Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I am half way through. I have been reading it on the side. It started off a little rough but it is become more interesting the more I read it.
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Goodreads Librari...: New edition 8 42 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.

Other books in the series

Dalriada Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Dawn Stag (Dalriada, #2)
  • Song of the North (Dalriada, #3)
“Fear is a foolish way to control people” 5 likes
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