BOOKS // Hiraeth A Mark* by Liz Riley Jones

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Oh wow it's been a long time since I've shared a book review! I swear I have been reading just I never get round to reviewing or sharing them other than what I write in my monthly round ups! However, I was sent Hiraeth A Mark* by Liz back in December shortly before Christmas. After finishing a few books I finally plunged into it! 

Mona Jones has been on the run all her life without knowing why. Her parents were murdered when she was a teenager, and now at twenty-one her uncle and protector is dead too. This chain of events compels her to spend time amid a Welsh-speaking community in Moelfre, Anglesey. Here, her Druidic ancestry begins to emerge, though it is spotted more quickly by those around her. She is branded by an enemy Druid and finds herself at the center of a Druid civil war.

“The mark” unleashes Mona's power, but she also has a terrible weakness. She finds herself drawn to the warrior Cai, but they are separated when the community’s fleet is lured out to sea by the threat of an Irish attack. The Welsh Druids are convinced there is a spy in their midst and both Mona and Cai become suspects. When Mona is attacked, her uncontrolled power explodes for a second time. The Druids must decide if she is their saviour or their destroyer.

From the start of the book I had to push myself to read it but once within the first 50 pages I was hooked! The theme of this book follows the Celtic origins (evident in the title) but is set in a modern day life. I've read a few books around similar themes but I definitely feel this one has been the best of the lot. 

The book follows mainly Mona with it also largely following Cai from halfway through the book. Throughout the 404 pages of the book a lot goes on with all of the characters featured in the book, with a large amount of focus on the struggles of the second half of the book. The way the book is split really does keep you on your toes and I found myself not wanting to put the book down for long. Often picking it up straight away after getting home from Uni. 

One thing I also loved about this book was the language in general. The input of welsh and how Jones would write the text in a way for non-Welsh speakers was brilliant and really made the book more enjoyable. The inclusion of detailed maps and the proper pronunciations at the front of the book definitely helped give a more rounded read of the book as I didn't need to spend long on how this was spelt or to work out where it was set. 

I really recommend this book for anybody who enjoys mythical, ancient traditions and magic. It was the perfect combination and didn't overload on either side. This being the first in the trilogy of the books I am really looking forward to picking up the next two and I can imagine great things for Jones. Although it was a slow start at first I was hooked and brought into the world completely by the end. 

*Disclaimer: I was sent this book free of charge by Liz. This does not in any way affect my opinions. All views and thoughts are my own.

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