Daughter of Black Lake by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book had a great mix of dark ambiance, detailed research, and wonderful characters! I was sucked in on page one, and I’m not exaggerating.

This is a historical fiction with some fantasy elements. I loved that one of the main characters has visions of the future, but is physically flawed. She is considered of little value to her town because of her leg, and yet her visions are a secret that is so valuable.

The two main characters are Hobble and Devout, a mother and daughter. I was connected to both of them, and enjoyed their individual struggles. The community’s thoughts and actions are set in such a long-ago time, and yet there were many aspects that resonated with today’s world.

The world building was fabulous. I felt like the descriptions created this rich setting for the characters to live in. I haven’t read a book about Druids before, and I found it so interesting. It was filled with details that gave such an in-depth understanding of the period. It felt real, and I loved it!

Overall, I was deeply invested in this book. The characters were wonderful, the setting was created beautifully, and the story was perfect! This is one to add to your TBR!

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend Daughter of Black Lake for readers that enjoy learning about a new time in history as well as a bit of a magical element.

Where to Find This Book:

Daughter of Black Lake by Cathy Marie Buchanan is available at these sites!

Penguin Random House | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


He led her across a dell of dormant ferns, up a wooded embankment, and along the high, bald ridge of red gritstone and thin soil called Edge. Here the wind blew in gusts, but they traveled at a brisk pace. Growing warm, Devout pushed her cape behind her shoulders so that it hung at her back.

She took in the plain of fields nestled below; the abutting clear‑ ing and nine roundhouses; and then farther to the north, the woodland they had just left; and farther still, the bog. At its center, she could make out the dark pool of Black Lake. She marveled that the world stretched on and on, that all she knew of it was so small. She had been told she lived on a vast island but even from her high perch, she could see no evidence of the surrounding sea. She had been told, too, that the island was divided into territories,each ruled by a chieftain and inhabited by a particular tribe, perhaps fifteen territories in total, though an exact count was difficult to make with borders always shifting as old feuds erupted, as new alliances were struck.

She looked to the west, could just make out the purple‑gray shadow of the distant highlands. Those highlands formed a different territory and were settled by a different tribe and chieftain. Her tribe occupied the territory abutting the highlands, a sprawling low‑ land plain dotted with settlements much like Black Lake.

The druids traveled the island, setting down roots in a particular settlement for a moon or two before moving on to the next. No chieftain knew the land, the history, the laws, the intricacies of the tribes the way the druids did. Nor was any chieftain able to divine the will of the gods. She thought of her tribe’s chieftain, whom they simply called Chieftain. He was mighty, wealthy, yes, yet even he would drop to bended knee in the presence of a druid, a true overlord.

In a world of pagan traditions and deeply rooted love, a girl in jeopardy must save her family and community, in a transporting historical novel by nationally bestselling author Cathy Marie Buchanan.

It’s the season of Fallow, in the era of iron. In a northern misty bog surrounded by woodlands and wheat fields, a settlement lies far beyond the reach of the Romans invading hundreds of miles to the southeast. Here, life is simple–or so it seems to the tightly knit community. Sow. Reap. Honor Mother Earth, who will provide at harvest time. A girl named Devout comes of age, sweetly flirting with the young man she’s tilled alongside all her life, and envisions a future of love and abundance. Seventeen years later, though, the settlement is a changed place. Famine has brought struggle, and outsiders, with their foreign ways and military might, have arrived at the doorstep. For Devout’s young daughter, life is more troubled than her mother ever anticipated. But this girl has an extraordinary gift. As worlds collide and peril threatens, it will be up to her to save her family and community.

Set in a time long forgotten, Daughter of Black Lake brings the ancient world to life and introduces us to an unforgettable family facing an unimaginable trial. 

Just the Facts:

Daughter of Black Lake by Cathy Marie Buchanan
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Count: 320 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Pub Date: October 6, 2020

Cathy Marie Buchanan’s previous novels, The Painted Girls and The Day the Falls Stood Still, were both New York Times bestsellers, with The Painted Girls named a best book of the year by NPR, Good Housekeeping, and Goodreads. Buchanan’s work has been translated into nine languages. She lives in Toronto.

Find out more about Cathy at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.


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I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.

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