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The White Mare (Dalriada Trilogy #1)

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  1,800 Ratings  ·  136 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
Paperback, 480 pages
Published March 7th 2006 by The Overlook Press (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

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Deborah Pickstone
It started well and I thought I was onto a 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,
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
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.
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
Kati's Wonderland
Wegen der Zeit, in der dieser Roman spielt, war ich zuerst etwas skeptisch, ob er wirklich etwas für mich ist, aber da er in Schottland spielt, und es ihn gebraucht sehr günstig zu kaufen gab, hab ich mich doch daran gewagt, und nun, da ich ihn gelesen habe, bin ich wirklich froh darum. Für alle Fans von historischen Romanen, kann ich dieses Buch nur empfehlen. Es spielt in Schottland, das zu dieser Zeit aber noch nicht Schottland heißt, sondern ,,Alba" ( manchmal sehr verwirrend, wenn im Buch ...more
Lisandro Nieva
Es una novela historica ambientada en la Escocia primitiva del siglo I DC, donde se ven claramente la sociedad matriarcal tan cara a La Rama Dorada y a Robert Graves. Tematicamente, actua como una precuela-comentario-lectura lateral de la saga de las Nieblas de Avalon de Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Personalmente me gustó mucho la trama, aunque al ser solo una de tres, la trama queda muy inconcluso, pero es prometedora para ser la primera novela de una trama. El tema romantico... está bien, pero no es
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
Puh, was für ein Wälzer. Ich bin erstaunt dass ich das Buch überhaupt zu Ende gelesen habe. Es ist das Erste einer Reihe und für mich leider auch das Letzte.

Keine Spannung, keine gute Story, nichts. Rhiann und Eremon sind seit zwei Jahren verheiratet, hatten noch nie Sex und dann auf ein Mal kommt alles viel zu schnell (auf den letzten 50 Seiten). Jules Watson ist ein bisschen wie George R.R. Martin: jedes Grashalm muss genauestens beschrieben werden was für mich den Flow des Buches zerstört hat
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
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 the strong relation to earth..may be if we instill some of this faith in our lives we can be kinder to her.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Lo que salva este libro son las los detalles derivados de vagas referencias históricas. Fuera de eso me pareció lleno de clichés no muy bonitos, personajes muy predecibles y argumentos que entran o salen de la historia como por arte de magia.
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.
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.
It was ok. From reading the historical note, the author plainly did her research, but the fantasy and romance aspects clouded that.
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meine Meinung

Rhiann wurde auf einer Insel als Prieserin ausgebildet und musste während ihrer Zeit dort einen schlimmen Raubüberfall miterleben, bei dem ihr schreckliche Dinge geschehen sind. Im Jahr 79 nach Christus lebt Rhiann wieder als Heilerin bei ihrem Stamm in Schottland. Als der König stirbt ist es ihre Aufgabe für einen Thronfolger zu sorgen und sie wird mit dem zufällig an Schottlands Küste gestrandeten Prinzen Eremon vermählt. Diese Ehe wird jedoch niemal vollzogen und das Ehepaar lebt
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I adore wandering through libraries. You never know what treasures you'll find.

I found one in The White Mare - a book I'd never heard of before by an author I'd never read. Considering both my lineage and my belief, a tale set in ancient lands where Druids and Priestesses alike played a large role in society immediately appealed. It didn't take much convincing on part of the writing for me to check it out, either.

A priestess, who had somehow lost her Sight, Rhiann finds herself terrified when a
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
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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.
More about Jules Watson

Other books in the series

Dalriada Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Dawn Stag (Dalriada, #2)
  • Song of the North (Dalriada, #3)

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