The Monk who Cast a Spell
Durstan, a seventeen year old Monk, falls in love with Ailan in 794 AD.
She disappears after their sexual awakening at Beltane, and he is drawn to Beth who believes that she can gain the protection of the Christian Church by manipulating the Monk’s emotions.
The Viking raids, relationships and love for the natural world help Durstan come to the realisation that his life must change.
He has discovered that… love belongs to everyone.
Abbot Faisal rules the Iona Monastery through fear of punishment, and deprivation.
Brother Andrew writes manuscripts with the oblate, Osfric. Mora, Durstan’s sister, loves clothes and jewels; Roy the Blacksmith was an outcast; and there’s Erik the Viking warlord and his family; Cormac the fisherman; Saille, Ailan’s ethereal friend, and many others.
We meet the Druid Brionach, and learn of Lora’s infatuation for him, as the story unfolds against the beautiful scenery of the Hebridean islands.
The characters cross the sea in coracles from Iona, to walk through ancient forest to Lord Duncan’s Hall inside its timber enclosure.
The seasons change from spring to midwinter when the Old Gods are in the magic of the firelight and the shadows at Yule.
The British isles are ruled by warlords, Kings and Abbots; whilst the forest is a wild place, filled with dangerous animals and the lawless.
The early Christian Church is challenged by tradition, and the Druids. Charms, amulets and spells are prevalent. The books which Andrew writes have their own magical element. The Monks take part in the solstice celebrations, and the Abbot is forced to turn a blind eye because the Old Gods are then at their most powerful.
It is a society dominated by fear of being outcast; violence; slavery; famine and disease. Both men and women are seeking protection from the strongest man: a husband, Lord or Abbot.
And Durstan’s goal… to regain Ailan’s love.
Reader Reviews for The Monk who Cast a Spell
A truly spellbinding unmissable tale… By Mrs. J. D. Thomas
I was totally enthralled by this book from beginning to end and found it hard to put down.
The authors’ vivid descriptions of the times these characters lived in brought the story to life from the terrors of the Viking raiders to the love story between Durstan the monk and Ailan his sweetheart and the dangers and temptations they encountered along the way plus Durstans’ struggle with his beliefs.
A truly wonderful story and I cannot wait for the next book to come out to see what lies in store for the monk and his lady.
I found this book captivating! By Patti Patten-Carlen
I found this book captivating and I love the time period represented in the book. Sharon Bradshaw beautifully blended the changing Pagan ways and the budding emergence of Christianity whilst showing us the conflicts that people in that time faced because of the choices that they had to make between the 2 religions.
The characters become visually easy to see with Sharon’s wonderful descriptions. Having both Celtic and Norse in my background the book gave me insights into what life was probably like in that time and place.
I will be looking forward to reading more of Sharon’s books!
Simply a wonderful read! By Jennie L. Baron
This book is a fascinating glimpse into a bygone time, an engaging adventure, and a sweet affirmation of love. The conflict between Durstan’s genuine dedication to God and romantic love with Ailan is a major theme. Also, he lives in a time when Christianity exists side by side with ancient pagan traditions that celebrate fertility and physical love.
Sharon Bradshaw is a gifted writer whose words tie all the elements together.
A Good Read! By Mary Rose
A really enjoyable look into the life of a 17 year old Monk, around the time of the 1st Viking raids. Insightful descriptions of Monastery life during that period and a look into the heart of a young man who is questioning his vocation. Exciting moments, daring voyages in a coracle, brutality, bravery and love – they are all included.
I hear there is to be another book to continue the saga – can’t wait!
A gripping tale of life and love of old. By Denco
A gripping tale of life and love of old. If you purchase this book you will not be disappointed the characters are real and it is interesting to have an in site into their lives and struggles. It shows how life and beliefs differ from the modern times.
I loved the stories of each character how they all have there own beliefs. Durstan’s story keeps you gripped for the first page right until the end, leaving you with the wanting of more. Sharon Bradshaw has captured my imagination and cannot wait to read more books by this new author.