Sunday, April 8, 2012

Maire by Linda Windsor

Maire: Fires of Gleannmara by Linda WindsorMaire by Linda Windsor. Multnomah, 2000. 355p. Series: Fires of Gleannmara, #1

When I saw this on Goodreads and ChristianBooks the cover caught my attention and the description captured it. I didn’t even look for it at the public library (although I’ve since learned that it’s there) and instead bought it. I rarely buy a book, but this was only 99 cents. :-) And it’s certainly worth all 99 pennies.

A fanciful, romantic tale of passion and faith that invites readers to the "God-graced mountains and plains" of Ireland. Maire, Gleannmara's warrior queen, finds her fierce heart is gentled when she takes a reformed mercenary -- a Christian, no less -- as hostage during a raid. At first she wonders what kind of God would make a fine warrior like Rowan of Emerys such a coward. But as she comes to know Rowan and witnesses the force of his beliefs, she learns that meekness and humility to the one true God are stronger than any blade of steel. And in the process, Maire discovers the transforming power of love and faith.

My review:
The story takes place in fifth-century Ireland and I really enjoyed learning more about early Irish Christianity. The author did a lot of research and includes a bibliography at the end of the book for those interested in learning more.

In honor of Easter weekend I wanted to share this brief excerpt from the book. One of the druids who became a Christian is explaining that Christianity is not a completely foreign concept:
image of Celtic cross with trees in the background[One of Ireland’s most beloved rulers was Conn. He had been injured in war and was warned against over exerting himself.] One day, a few years after when Conn saw how the sun turned dark in the sky, he summoned his magi to explain it. The druids who studied the heaven and stars told him that the King of all kings had been executed on a tree by his own people, and the one true God in the sun turned off its light in His grief. The kindhearted Conn was so moved and outraged that he took vengeance on the sacred grove of oaks, smiting the mighty and ancient trees until he collapsed in death and despair. (pg.232)

Maire is a warrior queen whose parent’s realm is being managed by the greedy Morlach until she comes of age. Raised alongside two foster brothers she has been trained to be queen, to be a strong warrior. Thus she is uncertain how to let others – certainly a man as attractive, strong and kind as Rowan, help her. I loved how Maire slowly learns how to be a good queen and a woman.

But Maire isn’t the only one learning lessons. Rowan struggles with memories and scars from his youth that he must confront and overcome. Forgiveness, trusting God and discerning His will are no easy matters when you’ve been uprooted from your home.

There is a fair amount of kissing and passion, the reader knows what’s going to happen but isn’t told. But there is a lot of restraint as well. Rowan fights hard to honor the 7th commandment (don’t commit adultery) which is so neat.

A great mix of adventure, action, love (several types), and friendship. 4.5 stars

Go read it! It’s only 99¢ at CBD; Wake County (NC); Greene County (OH); Find it at a library near you

Did you find this review helpful? Please rank it! (Anyone who ranks reviews is entered into a drawing by Multnomah and Blogging for Books.)

Disclosure: I bought this book. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.


  1. I love love love this series! My copy has the old cover, and I'm so tempted to get the new one because it's beautiful. I've read the entire series over and over. Her Brides of Alba Series is similar to these.

  2. Great review! I agree with Dawn! I have the old cover too, but I do love this cover : ) I'm loving the Brides of Alba series (it includes some of the Arthurian legends which is really cool) and am eagerly awaiting the third book in the series, "Rebel", which comes out in June.

  3. Thanks Dawn and Megan! I just started book two this morning and can't wait to get back to it. And got book three from the library this afternoon. :) I hadn't heard of the Brides of Alba series, but sounds like I'm going to have to go find them. Thanks for the recommendation!

    1. My blog, Dawn's Dreams has a review of book 2, the Thief, on my blog. Best way to find that one is to click on the book reviews label and see it there. The third one, the Rebel, is due out this summer and I'm so excited about it.

    2. Good review! Thanks for pointing it out. Sounds like a great series, I think I'll save it for summer when I won't have to wait as long for the third. :-)


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