"A well told tale set in a pivotal time in Irish history"
UNLAWFUL is a historical novel set in 9th century Gaul,
a.k.a. Ireland, about the time of the Norse raiders. Having
been to Ireland, I know this time as one of interesting
conflicts, where Danish and Norse invaders fought - and
traded - with the people living there. Many cities, Dublin,
for example, were founded in part by the Danes. Through
battle and commerce, landless Norse often ended up making
their homes in Ireland, to the point where anyone living
there can no doubt trace their ancestry back to at least
one colonizing army or another.
The story itself revolves around a woman named Kellach,
hereditary queen of An Dun Geata, and a presumed Norse
invader, Bruic the Badger. Bruic has come into An Dun Geata
with his Norse army and taken it over by stealth, avoiding
bloodshed. As such, he claims the place and Kellach as his
servant. Kellach is a fiery maiden who does not take well
to her new master in spite of the obvious attraction
As it happens, they are not complete strangers. Bruic is
himself a captive Gaul, stolen from his home when a child.
On a raid with his masters, the then thirteen-year-old was
present at a slaughter of Gaul villagers. He saved a small
red-headed girl looking for her stolen mother. It was, of
course, Kellach he'd saved. He remembers the fearless child
and is delighted to find she has become a true beauty.
Kellach does not know what to make of Bruic. When they
aren't fighting, he kisses her in such a way to make her
wish for more. But marriage for her is not possible due to
a curse, only removable by her lost mother. While Kellach
has been married four times, she's never been to her
marriage bed - each husband has died prior to that part of
the wedding. Will Bruic risk his life with a cursed bride
or will Kellach's mother be found? And what will they do
about his twin sons, held hostage by Bruic's overlord as
security for his loyalty?
While a convoluted story, UNLAWFUL is reasonably well told,
with plenty of twists to hold attention. It is also
interesting to see a historical tale about this violent and
pivotal time in Irish history.
Reviewed by Janet Miller
Posted July 25, 2002
Butchery tainted their meeting. Slavery separated them.
Deception reunited them in a battle of courage and
Deadlocked by a legend, Kellach must find her kidnapped
mother to remove the Dark Druid's curse upon her and to
save her people from the rampaging Norse. Bruic the Badger
must find local trading ports for the Norse in order to
save his sons, who are being held hostage by a Norseman,
and to find his siblings lost during his youth. Neither has
time for love. Ah! Fate and circumstance take the advantage
away from both...