Huge thanks to The Write Reads for my spot on the blog tour for The Chronicles of Iona: Exile by Paula de Fougerolles. I’m delighted to share a spotlight post with some links to the fabulous reviews we’ve had so far on the tour!
The Chronicles of Iona: Exile tells the story of the Irish monk and Scottish warrior, Saint Columba and Aedan mac Gabran, who would band together to lay the foundation of the nation of Scotland. They were a real-life 6th-century Merlin and King Arthur and their story has never been told.
The book begins in 563 A.D. The Roman Empire is long gone, freeing the region of Scotland from the threat of imperial rule but opening it to chaos from warring tribes vying for control. Columba, a powerful abbot-prince, is exiled from Ireland to the pagan colony of Dal Riata on Scotland’s west coast for an act of violence. There he encounters Aedan, the down-and-out second son of the colony’s former king, slain by the Picts.
Together, this unlikely pair travels the breadth of a divided realm, each in search of his own kind of unity. Their path is fraught with blood feuds, lost love, treachery, dark gods and monsters, but also with miracles and valor. Beset on all sides, their only hope is to become allies—and to forge a daring alliance with the pagan Picts.
How Columba overcame exile and a crisis of faith to found the famous monastery of Iona (one of the greatest centers of learning in Dark Age Europe) and, from it, the Celtic Church in the British Isles; and how Aedan avenged his father’s death and became, against all odds, the progenitor of Scottish kings and the greatest warlord of his age, begins here.
For both, what begins as a personal imperative becomes a series of events that lead to the foundation of Iona and the kingdom of Scotland—events that literally change the world.
From the Blog Tour
[Click on blog name for full review!]
The Artsy Reader: “Paula de Fougerolles created a story that made it fun to learn more, to link historical figures with true events and she was effortlessly weaving historical facts with her own imagination – something I enjoyed immensely.”
Sarah’s Book Life: “Together Columba and Aedan’s journey is filled with adventure, miracles and is highly entertaining. As they travel the breadth of a divided realm, their path is fraught with blood feuds, lost love, treachery, dark gods and monsters.”
I’m A Voracious Reader: “This wonderfully written fictional tale is rooted in factual historical details but since very little records survived this time period the author has given us a compelling story of two men who ultimately helped shaped a region into what it is today.”
My Bookish Bliss: “Aedan is one of the best characters I’ve ever read. His strength, coupled with his intensely good character, makes him a man for people to love.”
Bri’s Book Nook: “Once the story picked up, I couldn’t put the book down. The battle scenes captivated me as I couldn’t wait to see who became the victor, and the romantic drama had me on the absolute edge of my seat.”
About the Author
Paula de Fougerolles has a doctorate from the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge, and has taught and published in the field. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Scotland and Ireland, including a prestigious year-long Thomas J. Watson Fellowship in which she criss-crossed Europe in search of the physical remains of the so-called Dark Ages–research which ultimately led to this award-winning historical fiction series. To learn more, visit www.pauladefougerolles.com
Length: 394 Pages
Publishing: 25th May 2012