The Eilan Water Trilogy by Cherime MacFarlane
Ualan’s people are a mix of Pict and Scott. They face the Romans on one hand and the Picts on the other. Their hold is tenuous. Things take a terrible turn when Ualan’s someone kills his mother and sells him into slavery to a Roman woman.
She needs a stud, a young one who won’t challenge the master. Her life depends on producing an heir. Ualan hates her and all she stands for. Her plot backfires when an old soldier mentors the boy. He helps Ualan escape with their son. At home, his troubles are far from over. War with his Pictish kin looms, and the master seeks the child he declares is his, not Ualan’s.
NOTE: May contain triggers.
Aed’s dreams of Muirne fill his heart with yearning. She is his desire, all he hopes for. Sending the message alerted her father and uncle, but he and Muirne did not part as lovers. He thought to give her hope that he would return. Curse the land. Curse his kin, she is his heart’s wish.
Muirne believes Aed. Come spring, he will come. While she waits, Muirne must thwart her father and uncle’s plans and avoid her cousin. Grainne’s seduction of Aed should have earned her a slit throat. Muirne must wait on Aed. All hinges on his ability to evade his uncle and cousins, snatch Muirne and avoid Grainne.
Ualan agreed to go with the bard on a raid to take the woman from her kin. The two young men set off in a skin boat for Eire. They need a band of warriors and have only themselves and a determined woman who waits in Eire.
Roman by citizenship, Berber by birth, smith by choice, Aghilas has exchanged one master for another. Ualan gave him no choice. Die or submit, he became Ualan’s man. Forced to take Grainne as his woman, Aghilas is angry and frustrated.
The Picts of Corda are an ever-present threat. Torcuil, chief of the mixed band of Scotti and Pict fears all-out war. While he spirits away more settlers from Eire, Ualan is in charge of Eilan Water. The chief of the small band hopes more warriors will equate with victory. Two smiths should help increase the weapons of war for they will need them.