A Single Tear by Mae McCulloch
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Length: Full (376 pages)
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Camellia
Pictish warrior Cnyr senses changes coming, but not their implications—until he sees the Scotti witch. Taking her captive is a necessary risk, but after tasting the sweet fire of Ela’s passion, he must turn away from her to fulfill his duty to his clan.
As Britannia plunges into the Dark Ages, Ela dreams of the coming chaos. Struggling to control her mysterious supernatural gifts, surrounded by strangers, she is driven to earn her own place and win the heart of the man who should be hers.
When the invading Saxons threaten annihilation, will Cnyr and Ela learn too late that the power of the witch must combine with the strength of the warrior to protect the future?
In the forests and glens of North Britannia, Elba, grows up without companions and guarded by her four brothers and her father. They fear she will be killed as her mother had been for being a witch. Without her mother’s guidance, Elba’s powers grow strong but unfocused until she is kidnapped by the golden-eyed Pretani, Cnyr.
While the Scotti fear and kill witches, the Pretani (Picts) revere their witches. Cnyr tells himself he kidnapped Elba so her powers can be used to help save his people, but he really wants her for himself even though knows his duty is to wed another.
Elba’s is a true heroine’s journey that entwines her life with Cnyr who is on his own hero’s journey. As the Pretani chief’s son and the tribe’s war chief, his personal desires create conflicts aplenty. His betrothal to a kinswoman he doesn’t love to keep the tribal-leader bloodline going, his conflicted relationship with his father, his standoffish ways, and his unceasing desire for Elba make him a troubled soul even though he is a superb leader and renowned warrior.
The secondary characters enhance the love story of Elba and Cnyr and make A Single Tear throb with life. They reveal the customs of both the Scotti and Pretani people as they work, play, and fight for survival. The antagonist creates havoc and brings near destruction in an effort to gain his own goals—adrenaline-pumping reading.
Mae McCulloch brings the distant past to life with her captivating writing style and a bewitching tale of love and alliances of little-known inhabitants of fifth century North Britannia.