The Beast on the Broch is a story steeped in Scottish history and laced with magic, myth and legend. It is a captivating tale that combines the vivid imagery of North-east Scotland in the year 799AD with the different communities who live there and the local tale of the Pictish Beast.
The story centres around Talorca, a 12 year old Pictish girl. At the start of the story she is living contentedly with her mother within her small community, collecting fish from the nets and exploring the broch.
Then one day her life is thrown into disarray when she and her friend, Aidan, spot some Dalriadan boys stealing the fish from her nets. Soon after, the Dalriadans arrive in her village intent on staying.
Meanwhile she enounters and an animal that seems to resemble the mythical Pictish Beast, who has been hurt by one of the Dalriadans arrows. She nurses the beast back to health and befriends the creature.
Back within her community, the response towards the Dalriadan intruders varies. Talorca decides that she is going to find a way to drive them out and she is going to enlist the help of the beast to do it.
I loved the vivid rugged setting of the Beast of the Broch, bringing the area of North-east Scotland to life and creating a vivid and engaging picture of the small community.
At the heart of The Beast on the Broch is a message about understanding, cooperation and unity when differences between the Gaelic-speaking Dalriadans and the small Pictish community threaten to dominate.
The Beast on the Broch is a fantastic, magical, historical story that brings to life a rarely touched upon time period. If, like me, you are a fan of history and folklore, then this is an absolute must read.