The setting of this novel takes place in Connacht, Ireland 916 AD. As we reflect back in time to the Early Middle Ages, it was an era when Ireland was in turmoil, Irish countryside became a battlezone, and was eventually overrun by chieftains. It was a time when the Irish were warned about Northmen raids. A time in Ireland when there was much more at stake than just a claim on Ireland's flourishing port, and a time where a brick wall was created between Christian, and Pagan men. During this era, there were two sides to the Northmen, those who terrorized, and those who wanted peace in a feuding world. However, many of Ireland's children were raised to believe that the Northmen were murderers, thieves, and savages. These children believed that Northmen had no morals and values. Therefore, these children grew up fearing Northmen. Mara was one of these children, but despite all beliefs, nothing stopped her from visiting the River Shannon, which was her favorire place. She visited the river often, where she would sing the songs her mother taught
her. From the age of nine, after Mara's mother passed away, the River Shannon became a beautiful memory of Mara's visions of her Mom. No one ever knew of Mara's secret, except Daegan, who was the son of Raelik.
He would hide from her, but watched her many times as she sang at the river, while secretly falling in love with her, He wasn't brave enough to tell her until after he saved her life from a group of criminals heading to the river. At the age of sixteen, Mara began to fall in love with Daegan, but feared what actions would be taken against him when her father finds out. What would her people think, the daughter of the King of
Connacht, in love with a heathen? What challenges must Mara and Daegan face, after Daegan safely returns her home? The ever-rising hostility and outrage in Ireland existed, but not between Mara and Daegan. I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a blend of drama. The setting is painted with vivid descriptions of Ireland in its true beauty, the plot is electrifying, and the romance is sizzling. Renee Vincent painted the three great virtues of Ireland page-after-page, honor, chivalry, and love of freedom. How often did brutal attacks occur, and were all Northmen monsters? Will Mara have to struggle for survival after her father finds out about her relationship with Daegan? Will Daegan be executed? Will Mara ever fill the empty space in Daegan's heart, or will she run in fear? "RAELIKSEN" is as captivating as A WALK TO REMEMBER, and as inspiring as THE COURAGE TO LOVE with Vanessa Williams.